In 2017, Australian cardiologist Dr. Geoff Toogood ? with the assistance of ENT surgeon Dr. Eric Levi ? started the #CrazySocks4Docs online campaign. They wanted to help “create awareness on suicide among physicians in Australia.”
Healthcare professionals in Australia were asked to wear zany mismatched socks to work on June 1. They then had to take photos of their socked feet and post the photos on their social media pages with #CrazySocks4Docs on the caption. The campaign aims to “start the conversation” on the mental health of doctors and health practitioners.
This year, the #CrazySocks4Docs campaign is going global. All doctors and health practitioners all over the world are asked to take part in the campaign. It’s quite easy to be part of it. Check out the instructions below.
A TIME article cited the study done by Anthony Montgomery ? an associate professor in the Psychology of Work and Organizations at the University of Macedonia in Greece ? which confirmed that doctors have an increased chance of suffering from psychological burnout. It’s inevitable as they are constantly exposed to high-stress situations.
The problem is, as the #CrazySocks4Docs shows, not a lot of doctors feel comfortable talking about the state of their mental health. That is the stigma that the campaign hopes to get rid of. The first step starts with doctors and other health practitioners being able to have a conversation about the subject without fear of being judged for it.
As Dr. Toogood said in a Peninsula Health feature: “It is so important that doctors start talking to each other, to their family and friends about mental illness. Having a conversation about how you?re feeling is the first step. Doctors need to look after each other, so that we can look after everyone else.”
As for why he decided on “crazy socks” for the campaign, he explained, “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.”
Check out the official #CrazySocks4Docs website by clicking this link.