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Central Coast doctors get bold and bright for mental health awareness

A group of Central Coast doctors are on a mission to raise awareness around the mental health and wellbeing of all healthcare workers, using loud shirts and fairy floss to shine a light on supporting those who help others in our community.

Central Coast Local Health District doctors Michael Kale and Benji Pfister are leading the way for Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday with hopes of growing the event – now in its second year – to reaching other communities both far and wide.

Dr Kale said increased rates of depression and suicide was a serious issue affecting the medical community and now was a better time than ever to raise awareness using the power of comradery and kindness – with a little bit of colour and candy thrown in for good measure!

“Fairy Floss Friday encourages all members that make up the healthcare community to stand in solidarity against issues facing those who spend their lives saving the lives of others,” Dr Kale said.

“The founding principle behind this movement is the realisation that we often spend more of our waking hours with colleagues at work than we do with our friends and family.

“Working in healthcare is very rewarding, but it can also be challenging. Helping people when they are often at their most vulnerable, combined with the added pressures of things like shift work and overtime, can be tough at times.”

Dr Kale’s Fairy Floss Friday sidekick Dr Pfister said the day was a great chance to empower the healthcare community and show support to each other.

“Our biggest aim is to raise awareness, spreading joy and uniting people in the process,” Dr Pfister said.

“We acknowledge that there are other campaigns focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of doctors and nurses, but very little which encompasses all levels and positions within the healthcare community.

District Chief Executive Dr Andrew Montague acknowledged the team of District staff members behind the movement and for going above and beyond in helping care for the Coast.

“We as a District are very proud of the passion and dedication of the staff involved in this special day,” Dr Montague said.

“It takes a lot of commitment to get a project of this nature off the ground and I commend the team for their hard work and efforts, especially in acknowledging all of our staff who work in different areas across our healthcare service.

“Mental health doesn’t discriminate and it’s so important to highlight that it’s an issue which can face us all.”

If you or someone you know needs help, contact BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636 or Lifeline on 131 114.

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Media enquiries and interviews:

Central Coast Local Health District
Clare Graham (Communications Officer)
(02) 4320 3938 or 0408 861 348

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