Media release

Crazy socks send serious health message

Doctors and medical students and their supporters all around Australia will today be wearing odd, silly, colourful, or simply crazy socks to support doctors’ mental health and wellbeing.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the AMA and the State and Territory doctors’ health advisory services are lending their support to this important initiative.

“The ‘crazy socks’ day has become a phenomenon, nationally and now internationally, to raise awareness and normalise the discussion on doctors’ mental wellbeing,” Dr Bartone said.

“Research shows that doctors are at higher risk of suicide, suicidal thinking, and psychological distress. There are significantly higher rates for female doctors and doctors in training.

“This campaign has grown rapidly as a fun and collaborative way to shine the light on a very serious health issue within our profession.

“Last year’s AMA/Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd National Forum on reducing the risk of suicide in the medical profession emphasised the need for cultural change and compassion.

“Today’s activity is a great example of a grassroots campaign with willing foot soldiers driving change within the profession to ensure that we better care for the carers.

“The AMA encourages all doctors and medical students to put their best foot forward today, covered in the craziest socks they can find,” Dr Bartone said.

The #crazysocks4docs campaign began last year to normalise and start the conversation about doctors’ mental wellbeing.

It was developed by cardiologist Dr Geoff Toogood in response to his own experiences of suffering severe depression, and being asked about his wellbeing only when he started wearing odd socks to work.

Doctors in Canada, the UK, the US, New Zealand, Spain, France, and Ireland have now become involved in #crazysocks4docs.

The event website is

Doctors and medical students needing help can get access to the Australia-wide network of independent, confidential, doctors’ health advisory and referral services.

These services are coordinated by Doctors’ Health Services Pty Ltd, with funding from the Medical Board of Australia. To contact your local service, visit

1 June 2018

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            Maria Hawthorne               02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

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