If you have been on our Twitter account recently, you will know that we are talking about #crazysocks4docs a lot, and with very good reason. Have you seen this hashtag circulating and not sure about its origin story? Head over to Peninsula Health to find out more. To summarize it, Dr. Geoff Toogood, a physician from Australia, started it a year ago to raise awareness and conversation around doctor's mental health. He was wearing mismatched socks one day (because of his new furry friend enjoying sock eating) which prompted someone to ask if he was doing okay given his history of mental illness. An idea and movement were then born.
As Dr. Toogood states in a very recent Medical Journal of Australia article, it is now spreading globally: "This year promises to be even bigger. At the time of writing, we have not only Australia involved but also Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand, Spain, France and Ireland. The list is growing daily, in languages that I can’t read on Twitter but they are joining us. Mental health is clearly a global issue and we are giving a voice to doctors who have been silent for too long."
Why is this hashtag resonating with so many people in the medical community? Here are just 3 reasons we have identified:
As physicians and trainees, we have already been impacted by physician suicide and/or physician mental illness either directly or indirectly.
We don’t like to admit that our profession stigmatizes our own when it comes to mental health, yet at the same time recognize that burnout, mental illness, addictions and suicide could happen to any of us in our lifetime.
We embrace the opportunity to collectively not take ourselves so seriously, and at the same time, send the message that we are here for one another and aren’t afraid to let everyone know.
So, on June 1st, join us and many others worldwide in sharing a photo of your crazy socks. It's fun, it's community and it's raising awareness of what our profession faces. It's also time to break down stigma and shame through some #crazysocks4docs.