Normalising the conversation

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Keeping Up The Conversation About Mental Health

Having suffered from depression and anxiety, Dr Geoff Toogood has experienced first-hand stigma and discrimination at many levels. Once recovered he wanted to share his story in the hope of reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues. So, he founded Crazy Socks 4 Docs Day in 2017. Avant recently interviewed Geoff to talk about the Crazy Socks 4 Docs movement, how to support the cause on Friday 4 June and what changes still need to happen to support doctors who are struggling with their mental health.

Psychological PPE

For the past five years, CrazySocks4Docs founder Dr Geoff Toogood has asked healthcare professionals to wear odd socks on the first Friday in June to raise awareness about doctors experiencing issues of mental illness in silence. 
And throughout that time, Dr Toogood says there has never been a more pressing need for the message about reducing stigma and improving self-care to resonate and result in direct action.

Normalising the conversation about doctors’ mental health

I recently was able to host a Grand Round at Peninsula Health to discuss doctors’ mental health. The panelists included Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Dr Helen Schultz and the federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. There were a number of issues discussed, but I would like to focus on normalisation – the process of bringing, or returning, something to a normal condition or state.

Sharing our lived experience: our courage demands respect

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

It’s not simply turning up to speak.

The resilience myth in medicine

When I was battling the demons of severe depression and suicidal ideation, the word resilience was mentioned … well, more stated at me.

You’re just not resilient enough … if only you were stronger … you’re just not able to cope … you know not everyone is cut out to be a doctor … have you considered another career? … you are too sensitive, too self-reflective, that’s your problem.

I was a 20-year plus veteran in the profession however. 

Let’s target zero self-harm among COVID-19 health workers

“It is a moment not to be squandered by territorialism, squabbling over funding allocations, or short-term thinking. In every part of our country, and for the sake of our society and economy, we need to continue to stress that maintaining good mental health and preventing suicide is a social, economic and political imperative.” — Julia Gillard, Beyond Blue Chair; 2019 Diego De Leo Address, 23 July 2019

JULIA Gillard’s words have never been more relevant.

Other Articles

Wellbeing Charter for Doctors – Righting Wrongs

Karoshi: death by overwork. Lessons from Japan

Mental health of doctors-in-training: a reflection

Why I’ll keep talking about crazy socks but not broken bones & mental health

Embracing our vulnerability in medicine

Depression: “I felt trapped in this darkness,” says this cardiologist

Clear suicide risk exists for doctors under investigation

Bring out your crazy socks for mental health

Big year for doctors’ mental health

Best of InSight+- Learn from me, by Steve Robson

Toogood pledges for good cause

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