Crazy Socks 4 Docs day

When you or your family is sick or injured, healthcare workers are there to help. So, it’s easy to forget that sometimes they need to be looked after too. This Friday, across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network we’ll be supporting #CrazySocks4Docs.

The #CrazySocks4Docs campaign is designed to raise awareness about the importance of the health and wellbeing, particularly mental health, of everyone working in the healthcare industry.

“Working in the healthcare industry we spend most of our lives looking after patients and their families. We need to ensure that we also look after ourselves and each other, so that we don’t lose our own lives whilst saving those of others,” Anna Van Beek, Chief Resident Medical Officer at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick said.

The campaign, now in its second year, was founded by Melbourne cardiologist, Dr Geoff Toogood, after his own battle with mental illness. The crazy sock motif stemmed from a conversation between two people who knew of Dr Toogood’s mental health history and were concerned when he turned up to work wearing odd socks.

The odd socks were simply a result of Dr Toogood’s dog mauling his washing, but it started a conversation that needed to happen.

In a 2013 report by Beyond Blue, studies found that psychological distress was significantly greater in doctors in comparison to the general population and other professionals (3.4% vs. 2.6% vs. 0.7%).

But it’s not only doctors who are at risk. Everyone working in the healthcare industry can be affected—nurses, dentists, pharmacists, social workers, physiotherapists, and medical students.

By participating in Crazy Socks 4 Docs day, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network wants to shine a light on mental health to help make discussing the topic the norm.

“We hope this day will help provide a platform to start conversations in the workplace about the importance of staff wellbeing and mental health,” Ms Van Beek said.

“We want to create a culture where staff are not only encouraged to continue their learning and professional development within a supportive environment, but also where staff know that it’s ok to not be ok, and feel comfortable and empowered to seek support if they need it.”

Getting involved in #CrazySocks4Docs day is easy and everyone is invited to take part.

  • STEP 1 – Wear Crazy Socks
    Wear your loudest, brightest, craziest pair of socks

  • STEP 2 - Take a photo
    Spread the word: post to social media using hashtag #CrazySocks4Docs

  • STEP 3 - Start the conversation
    Remember lives lost; encourage staff to care for one another and to seek support. Help raise awareness about mental health and reshape our culture.

If you, or someone you know is struggling, there is help available

  • Speak to your manager
  • Speak to your GP
  • Lifeline:  13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue:  1300 22 4636
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP): accesseap.com.au
  • Doctors Health Advisory Services: dhas.org.au