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CrazySocks4Docs 2023: FMHS encourages students to share their stories
Author: FMHS Marketing & Communications / FGGW Bemarking & Kommunikasie – Sue Segar
Published: 02/06/2023

​In observance of CrazySocks4Docs (CS4D) day on Friday 2 June 2023, Stellenbosch University's (SU)'s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) called on its undergraduate students studying toward degrees in dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, medicine, nursing and midwifery, and speech-language and hearing therapy to share the tangible ways in which they're maintaining their mental health.

The call – which stems from the need to recognise the importance of the mental wellbeing of healthcare professionals and those in training – was made in observance of CS4D day, a global initiative which aims to raise awareness about mental illness among healthcare workers with a particular focus on removing the stigma associated with it.

This year marks the fourth year in which the FMHS collaborates with the non-profit entity, Ithemba Foundation – an organisation with the public benefit goals of raising awareness of depression as a biological illness and raising funds for research on depression – to bring CS4D day to students at the FMHS.

“SU FMHS is very proud to be involved with this year’s CrazySocks4Docs campaign. This year we want to encourage open conversations, challenge misconceptions, and advocate for mental health support and resources to our staff and students. By fostering a compassionate and non-judgmental environment, we want to create a safe space where our students and staff feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions and tell us how they are maintaining their mental wellbeing," said Professor Elmi Muller, FMHS Dean.

In exchange for their thoughts, which will be shared on social media alongside a “sock-selfie" (a picture of students wearing colourful, mismatched or interesting socks), FMHS undergraduate students will receive a pair of socks from South Africa's leading sock brand, Falke on a first come, first-served basis. The Faculty will also set aside socks that staff can attain in exchange for a donation to the Ithemba Bursary Fund.

Healthcare workers are under immense pressure

The CS4D campaign, which was started by Australian physician, Dr Geoff Toogood in 2017, sheds light on the need for mental health awareness and care in the healthcare industry, while recognising and paying tribute to healthcare workers for the invaluable role they play in South Africa.

Students in healthcare professions, face severe pressure during their studies to become the healthcare workers of the future. Numerous statistics show that mental health issues are particularly prevalent among healthcare professionals.[1]

During last year's CrazySocks4Docs campaign, medicine and health sciences students at the FMHS participated in the campaign saying they “genuinely didn't think doctors also struggle mentally" and that “the campaign really enlightened them to the real problem of mental health challenges in the health professions".


All undergraduate students at the FMHS are invited to enter the Ithemba Foundation's CS4D competition! Here's how:

Post a picture of your crazy socks on Ithemba Foundation's Facebook @IthembaFoundation1 or Instagram @ithembafoundation pages (or both!).

Ask family and friends to like your 'sock-selfie'.

If your post has the most likes on Tygerberg campus, you will win a R1 000 cash prize.​