Mental Health is a big deal.
According to the 2019 National Mental Health Survey of Doctors and Medical Students, it affects one in five doctors in Australia. High-pressure professions like doctors, nurses and medical specialists can particularly be prone to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression; nearly 10 percent of doctors surveyed acknowledged that they’ve experienced mental health challenges.
Is something being done about it?
Organisations like Crazy Socks 4 Docs break down the stigma doctors and health professionals face around Mental Health to support doctors during challenging moments.
And this year, we’re partnering with them by donating pairs of Crazy Socks to support their heart-warming mission.
Dr Geoff Toogood created Crazy Socks 4 Docs after his Mental Health battle
Crazy Socks 4 Docs started in 2017 as an initiative that puts the spotlight on the mental well-being of doctors and health practitioners in Australia.
Founder Dr Geoff Toogood knows too well about mental health hardships.
He experienced both anxiety and depression when transitioning from a trainee doctor to a Cardiology Specialist. He noticed himself withdrawing from social situations and not being excited about his professional or personal life, saying he “wanted an escape from the pain”. Dr Toogood's wasn’t himself. He experienced an inability to relax, lack of quality sleep, a racing heart beat, irrational sweating, and constant overthinking. He lacked excitement about his life and was disconnected from loved ones.
After recognising, he needed help and finding the right support; he was inspired “to reduce doctor’s suicide around the world” and created Crazy Socks 4 Docs.
Once Dr Toogood reached out to Beyond Blue (with the help of a friend), he started swimming, which helped him stay in the moment and work towards improved mental health.
Since making a recovery, speaking out gives Dr Toogood the opportunity to raise awareness around mental health and reduce the stigma around seeking help - encouraging others to do the same.
He has been brave to share his story with Beyond Blue, hoping that other medical practitioners will feel included and speak up if they suffer similar symptoms.
The National Faculty for GPs in Training of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has recognised Dr Toogood’s ‘inspiring’ and ‘phenomenal’ contribution by awarding him for his hard work with Crazy Socks 4 Docs.
Why Crazy Socks?
Because Dr Toogood wore mismatched socks to work one day, and discovered co-workers were gossiping about his sanity behind his back.
What really happened was that Dr Toogood’s new puppy was treating himself to delicious sock snacks, forcing him to wear non-matching, fun socks to work.
Crazy Socks 4 Docs encourages doctors to wear Crazy Socks on the first Friday in June to spark conversation about mental health.
Why is it important to raise awareness of mental health issues in doctors?
Medical professionals are often held to a high standard and may feel pressure to maintain an image of strength and competence, making it difficult for them to admit when they are struggling. And it’s not just Dr Toogood that’s noticed. South Australia (SA) Health has too.
To help doctors cope and manage workplace hardships SA Health released the Preventing and responding to workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination guide, which serves as a guide to preventing and responding to bullying, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
By numerous organisations working together, we can create a real impact.
Crazy Socks to raise awareness of mental health in Doctors
Our fun range of Novelty Socks made Crazy Socks 4 Docs reach out to our team to see if we were open to being involved in the initiative. From there, the collaboration blossomed and “socks.com.au made the generous offer to donate the socks for #CrazySocks4Docs”, replied a representative from SA Health.
Our Novelty Socks range was exactly what #CrazySocks4Docs were seeking
The Novelty Socks range are the perfect ‘Crazy Socks’. With their bold colours and bright designs, the fun range of socks will spark numerous conversations between colleagues on the importance of Mental Health.
Why socks.com.au is involved with Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day
“As a responsible and socially aware business, we feel a duty to support mental health and the wellbeing of our community, including junior doctors,” comments Bellview General Manager Karen Lawler.
Karen continues to explain, “junior doctors are a crucial part of the healthcare system, and their mental health is essential to providing [others with] quality care. Helping to improve the wellbeing of health workers can, in turn, help to improve patient outcomes.”
For Bellview, supporting meaningful causes is not new. Our business incorporates a number of ethical and sustainable practices as well as supporting other worthy causes.
Many of the cotton socks, including the Novelty Socks range, are made using Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Cotton, and most of socks.com.au’s product packaging is made from recycled materials.
Where to learn more and how to get involved
And if you are a recipient of a pair of Crazy Socks, post a picture and tag #CrazySocks4Docs.