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04 June 2020

RACGP calls for GPs to put on their crazy socks to tackle mental health stigma

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is encouraging GPs to put on their ‘crazy socks’ to fight mental health stigma on Crazy Socks 4 Docs day on Friday 5th June.

The RACGP has been a proud supporter of Crazy Socks 4 Docs day since it was started by Dr Geoffrey Toogood in 2017 to address mental health stigma among health practitioners.

Dr Toogood came up with the idea after he turned up for work one day wearing odd coloured socks. Rather than asking if he was okay, his colleagues at the hospital whispered about his ‘failure’ to wearing matching socks. And so Dr Toogood started Crazy Socks 4 Docs – to make it ok for a doctor to not be ok.

The RACGP has launched a new range of crazy socks to support the event this year. All of the proceeds will be donated to Beyond Blue, the mental health support service recommended by Dr Toogood.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said the RACGP was proud to help raise awareness of the mental health of GPs around Australia.

“The summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic have made this year particularly challenging for GPs at the frontline across Australia.

“It is essential that GPs and other health practitioners take care of their own health and wellbeing during this difficult time.

“We need to fight the stigma that persist when it comes to our mental health. GPs are human, there is absolutely no shame in reaching in out and asking for help.

“I would encourage GPs to use this event as an opportunity to check in with yourself and your colleagues – put on your crazy socks and support mental health for health practitioners around the world.”

Dr Toogood said he was pleased to have the support of the RACGP to fight mental health stigma.

“I’d like to see GPs across Australia join in this year’s event – take a photo of your crazy socks and share it on social media to show your support.

“This is a time for GPs to reflect on their wellbeing and that of their colleagues and embrace vulnerability, and please seek support if you need it, help is there for you.”

Show your support by visiting the RACGP pop up shop and purchasing your own pair of crazy socks: https://racgp.eventsair.com/racgp-pop-up-shop/socks

The RACGP is also encouraging GPs to join the Crazy Socks 4 Docs online panel from 7.45am to 9am on Friday 5th June to hear from health experts and political leaders: register online here.

Hosted by Dr Sally Cockburn, the online panel will feature: Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos MP, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Prof Michael Kidd, National Mental Health Commission CEO Ms Christine Morgan, Co-Director, University of Sydney, Brain and Mind Centre Prof Ian Hickie, Beyond Blue CEO Ms Georgie Harman, Ambulance Victoria CEO Assoc Prof Tony Walker ASM, and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, Michael Myers.

The RACGP provides members a range of mental health resources with strategies for self-care, and a free support program with telephone counselling.

The RACGP is also a strong advocate against mandatory reporting laws that discourage doctors from seeking the healthcare they need. The RACGP has called for changes to the current mandatory reporting laws, so that doctors can seek healthcare without fear of being reported to a regulatory body.

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact John Ronan, Ally Francis and Stuart Winthrope via: