Clinicians and staff at Gold Coast Health are wearing their boldest odd socks today to support suicide prevention among healthcare workers in Australia.
June 1 is Socks4Docs Day, acknowledging all those in the medical workforce who are twice as likely to suicide compared to the broader community.
Clinical Council Acting Chair Penny Stabler said healthcare workers including, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, were susceptible to the same pressures as everyone in our community.
“It’s important on a day like today that we acknowledge that our clinicians, working in our high-pressure industry caring for patients, are humans too,” Ms Stabler said.
“This means they’re just as likely to face mental health, physical illness, depression, burnout and work stresses as any member of our community with the additional impact of working in a highly emotive and demanding industry.
“We need to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to take care of those who are taking care of our patients.”
Between 28 and 40 clinicians out of every 100,000 commit suicide in Australia, compared with a rate of 12.3 in the general population.
Gold Coast Health Radiation Oncology Dietitian Jess Abbott and her family are passionate advocates for meaningful change in the industry following the suicide of her sister Chloe earlier this year.
“Chloe was a well-respected medical registrar in Sydney undertaking the Basic Physician Training program. The expectations of the job, as well as studying 40 hours a week for the physician exams were brutal,” Ms Abbott said.
“I know firsthand the challenges of working in a busy hospital environment.
“We invest so much time in caring for others that we often don’t take care of our own wellbeing and its raising awareness on days like these that might lead to a reduction in the suicide rate by opening up important conversations.”
The Socks4Docs Campaign prompts health workers to:
- Remember the many health professionals who have died by suicide or in the line of duty
- Raise awareness of physical and mental health issues among health professionals
- Reshape the culture of the health care industry, so that health care workers are given the ability to care for each other.
Gold Coast Health is encouraging others to join the campaign by using #socks4docs and #crazysocks4docs on social media.