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Doctors socking it to mental health stigma

Bunbury doctors joined others around the country by wearing “crazy socks” to promote mental health wellbeing within the profession on Friday.

Rural Doctors Association WA president Andrew Kirke said the idea came from an Eastern States doctor who felt stigmatised by the health service and his colleagues after struggling with depression.

“When people talk about the socks and ask why they’re doing it, it leads to a discussion,” he said.

“The idea has grown particularly around concerns in the last year about the stress levels of junior doctors.

“We think it’s a contemporary issue, not just for doctors but people all across health services.”

The Bunbury-based doctor said there was sometimes a perception that doctors weren’t allowed to be sick, weak or vulnerable.

“We all suffer from the same things at some point in our lives and the health of your health workforce is very important — if it’s struggling then your service is going to struggle,” Dr Kirke said.

He encouraged people to ask health professionals about their socks if they noticed they were odd.

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