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GPs’ crazy reminder to look after mental health


Matt Woodley


7/06/2024 4:22:48 PM

The medical world has come out in force to mark CrazySocks4Docs, with the RACGP using it as an opportunity to protest mandatory reporting laws.

Collage of Crazysocks4docs images.
GPs and healthcare workers from across Australia have marked CrazySocks4Docs by posting messages of support on social media. (Images: Facebook/X)

GPs and healthcare workers from across Australia and the world have raised awareness about doctors’ mental health by donning outlandish footwear and encouraging colleagues to seek help when they are struggling.
 
Now in its eighth year, the CrazySocks4Docs message of reducing stigma among healthcare workers continues to resonate, with many heading to social media to voice their support.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins described the awareness day as a ‘great initiative’ that has created a ‘safe space’ for GPs and other doctors to have a conversation about mental health and wellbeing.  
 
‘I encourage Australia’s GPs to check in with your colleagues and practice team,’ she said.
 
‘And if you or someone you know needs support, please don’t hesitate to seek it – and know that it’s okay to not be okay.’  
 
However, she also lamented that Australia’s regulatory system can make it challenging for doctors to reach out for mental health support.
 
‘The problem is not only stigma, but also mandatory reporting laws which require treating practitioners to report their colleagues if they believe their health condition places the public at risk,’ Dr Higgins said.  
 
‘GPs have the right to confidential care and support like anyone else. They should not fear repercussions if they need to reach out.
 
‘These laws need to change.’ 
 
The RACGP provides members a range of mental health resources with strategies for self-care, and a free support program with telephone counselling. 
 

Doctors 4 Doctors, a free and confidential mental health support service with trained psychologists and counsellors is also available for medical professionals, including students. 
 
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AHPRA CrazySocks4Docs mandatory reporting mental health stigma


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