Gold Coast Health staff donned their funkiest, most attention-grabbing socks yesterday to recognise the high levels of stress and suicide amongst health professionals as part of the annual Crazy Socks 4 Docs initiative.
Emergency Physician Dr Shahina Braganza said that highlighting healthcare workers' mental health was more important than ever.
"It's been a stressful time for hospital and health workers across Australia and the world," she said
"Our medical staff work in highly emotionally charged areas, witnessing life and death situations, counselling grieving families, and they are the people others turn to for support."
Research shows doctors are at higher risk of suicide, suicidal thinking, and psychological distress than the general population. This confronting issue is something Dr Braganza said the Crazy Socks 4 Docs initiative hopes to change.
"By having days like today, sparking a conversation, and encouraging our staff to access support, we're ensuring they're well and can also provide the best care to patients," she said
"We need to take care of the ones who take care of others."
Gold Coast Health hosts a Crazy Socks 4 Docs event every year to help break down the stigma surrounding mental health and raise awareness of the serious issue.
Sock donning staff were treated to live music, prizes, pet therapy dogs, and a free healthy lunch.
Thank you to Gold Coast Health's 'Team Health' Unit who were responsible for the day, and a big round of applause to those who continue to support mental health day in and day out.