Today is Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day, dedicated to breaking down the stigma around mental health in doctors. On this day, held every year on the first Friday of June, doctors and their colleagues wear their craziest socks to encourage conversations around mental health.
Dr Wanda Stelmach, Chief Medical Officer, said Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day reminds us to pause and think about our inner health, our friends and work mates.
“It’s hard to look after our health with all the pressure of work, but we need to get that balance between work, family and self. Take time each week to pause and reflect, and ask yourself what have you done to nurture yourself? Get together with friends and ask each other the same question! We’re there to support each other,” she said.
For Dr Dean Pritchard, Deputy Director Emergency Department, said Crazy Socks 4 Docs is a day for doctors to reflect on ourselves as humans — ordinary humans who have signed up to do extraordinary things.
“From the heat of resuscitation to the complexity of our wards – we soldier through to achieve the best for our patients. But rarely do we stop to check in on ourselves, heal our wounds, and understand the enormity of our role in patient’s lives,” he said.
This Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day, Dr Pritchard encourages everyone to wear their loudest socks with pride, on the outside.
“Keep doing the amazing work you do, speak up when you’re feeling low, and be there to support your team. Together, we can achieve extraordinary things!”
His colleague, Dr Rachael Coutts, Associate Director, Medical Education and Emergency Physician added: “Crazy Socks 4 Docs is also a day we get to say to our clinical staff – we see and hear you and acknowledge the work you do.”
Stephen Whittaker, Wellbeing Team Leader, added: “The mental wellbeing of our doctors – and all staff in our health service – is of huge importance to us all at Northern Health. Without it, we cannot be the best we can be to provide the highest quality care needed for our patients. Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day is just one day where we can acknowledge the difficult nature of the work our doctors – and all staff – do at Northern Health. It’s a day where we say thank you for that incredible work and a day where we aim to make conversations about mental health and wellbeing a part of our every day.”
In collaboration with Northern Health Foundation, a local ethical sock manufacturer, ‘Soxy Beast’, generously donated their crazy socks, for the second year in a row.
Giuliano Pietrolungo, Soxy Beast Director, said it is the cause that resonates with his team and motivates the donation.
“We are donating almost 500 pairs of socks this year and we have nothing but admiration for hospital workers, and that was before we added to the mix a global pandemic. We applaud each and every one of you at Northern Health and greatly appreciate what you do. We are happy to be supporting the Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day. We hope that our socks add a bold splash of colour to the day, put smiles on faces and, most importantly, help to raise awareness surrounding the importance of mental health in medical staff,” Giuliano added.