Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day looks a little different at Gold Coast Health this year, but the national initiative’s message is the same, and it’s more vital than ever.
Held on the first Friday of June, Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day acknowledges all those in the medical workforce who are twice as likely to suicide compared to the broader community. Research shows doctors are at higher risk of suicide, suicidal thinking, and psychological distress.
Since Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day began in 2017, Gold Coast Health has hosted events to highlight the day. While that hasn’t been possible due to COVID-19, the health service’s ‘Team Health’ unit coordinated 100 ‘satellite packs’ so staff could still spread the message in their work areas with decorations, posters, mental health resources and colourful socks.
Dr Jeremy Wellwood, the Executive Director for Clinical Governance Education and Research, said Gold Coast healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, were susceptible to the same pressures as everyone in our community.
“There’s no denying the pandemic has added to the stress, worry and anxiety of many people, including our own staff,” Dr Wellwood said.
“Many of whom work in emotionally charged areas and dedicate their professional lives to looking after others, often at the expense of taking care of themselves.
“That’s why events like Socks4Docs are so important. No-one should walk alone with a mental health issue.”
Hannah Bloch, Executive Director, People and Corporate Services, said Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day was a great way to normalise mental health conversations within the health profession, and to encourage healthcare workers to look out for one another.
“It’s fantastic to see staff embrace this year’s different approach to participating, and get behind the vital message by decorating their work spaces with odd, silly, colourful, or simply crazy socks,” she said.
“I would strongly encourage any of our staff not to be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s by talking to your managers, co-workers, or through our Employee Assistance Program for a free confidential chat, any time of the day or night - you are not alone.”
Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day was founded by Dr Geoff Toogood, a Melbourne Cardiologist and mental health advocate.
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression you can contact Lifeline on AUS 13 11 14 or beyondblue on AUS 1300 22 4636.