What is NOMV?

This message is a bit different than what you typically read from GDRNT. I am a long-time supporter, past adopter, and was once a very active volunteer before life took me out of state for a bit. I am also a veterinarian.

If you have friends in the veterinary field no doubt you have seen at least one social media post this week with the letters NOMV and perhaps a message about veterinarians having the highest suicide rate of any profession. NOMV stands for Not One More Vet, an organization that started following the suicide of Dr. Sophia Yin, a well-respected veterinarian, in 2014. The reason the status update went viral in the veterinary community last week is that multiple colleagues committed suicide. Sharing the post is meant to bring awareness to the problem and to encourage those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts to seek help. The standard message is often personalized with a plea for owners to be patient and be kind.

I would like to take that plea one step further. In the words of Bill and Ted “Be excellent to each other.”
The truth is this problem goes beyond the veterinary profession. Social media allows us instant access to businesses, friends, and acquaintances. It also provides a powerful platform to voice our discontent, and it reaches an audience who can latch onto and amplify the discontent. Please consider how your words can truly damage a business or an individual, especially if the complaint is a viral post from somebody you never met. It is so easy to share memes or posts without verifying content, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. There are always multiple sides to each disagreement.

Ultimately, this is a plea for civility. There are many things to disagree about in our current environment. Please approach your disagreements calmly and rationally, and if you disagree with an individual’s or business’ policies then please simply seek someone better aligned with your philosophies. Vehemently disagreeing with employees or sharing your frustration on social media may make you feel better, but it is highly unlikely to influence the business to your point of view. Keep in mind we all face challenges that we hide from the world. You have no idea how your words may pile on to somebody else’s existing burden.
Have patience. Be kind. Consider how your actions affect others.
Be excellent to each other.

If you are in need of help, please know you are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is open 24 hours a day. 1-800-273-8255. You can also check out the resources at https://www.nomv.org