Health-care workers on P.E.I. are taking part in a unique event to help raise awareness about mental health.
Crazy Socks 4 Docs is part of an international initiative to wear fun, colourful socks as a way to start conversations about mental health — specifically, the challenges health-care workers face in the field.
Allison Wyatt, the province’s wellness and safety manager, said socks were distributed to staff in all Health P.E.I. facilities on the Island.
“It came with sort of a little note about what’s important about mental health for health care workers, specifically how much we’ve been through in terms of the pandemic and the pressures that people are feeling and staffing and and all that sort of thing, you know, compassion, fatigue, burnout, all the things that affect the mental health of our of our staff,” said Wyatt.
The campaign began late last week. Wyatt said the response has encouraged them to continue participating until the end of the week.
She said more people are reporting feeling stress at work and more are taking time off.
“Everybody wants to be there for their patients, they want to be there for their colleagues, but there is a certain point where people hit a level of burnout and so how can we help support those individuals and ultimately prevent it from occurring.”
A recent survey by the Medical Society of P.E.I. showed more than 48 per cent of physicians fear they are experiencing or near burnout.
Health P.E.I. and the medical society say the goal is to encourage staff to take care of themselves, but the pandemic has been particularly hard with staff shortages affecting everyone.
“You see people who haven’t been able to take vacation in two years, you see people who have to work more than their 12 hour shift because they don’t have relief that’s coming in after them,” Wyatt said.