Crazy Socks 4 Docs
You might see some unusual looking socks on some of our staff this week. It's all part of Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day happening this Friday 7 June - which aims to encourage conversations about mental health and reduce the stigmas for doctors experiencing mental illness.
Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day is about checking in with colleagues, being aware of your own headspace and knowing that support is available if you need it.
"We're taught how to look after patients, but we're not really taught how to look after ourselves," says Cherry Lau, Emergency Physician and Co-Chair of the ED wellness initiative group.
"Healthcare workers are resilient people, that's why they work in this industry. However, I think this makes it harder to open up and share when you're not coping."
Cherry wants all staff to take notice if someone isn't their usual happy self and to ask them if they're ok.
"It's important that we talk about our mental health. You may feel that it's none of your business or that you don't want to pry, but actually health is our business and it's vital that we look after each other," says Cherry.
Cherry says that the ED wellness initiative group is working towards creating a space for staff to talk about how they're feeling and take a break from their busy work environment.
"We've done social gatherings like BBQs, wellbeing education sessions, yoga, meditation and free massages."
Cherry says that we can help break down stigmas associated with mental illness and create a culture where it's ok to not be ok.
"We can't care for others if we don't first care for ourselves."
Crazy Socks 4 Docs is a campaign started by Peninsula Health cardiologist Dr Geoff Toogood, after experiencing his own battle with mental illness.
"The reason I picked crazy socks is we often call people with mental health issues crazy and I wanted to make crazy fun - instead of the mental health connotation," explains Dr Toogood.
There is always help available:
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
For support for anxiety, depression and suicide prevention contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or visit beyondblue.org.au.
Click here find out more about our doctor peer support program.
Click here for EAP staff counselling and coaching.
Click here to learn more about crazy socks 4 docs' day.