If you visit an Aussie hospital near the Central Coast on February 5th this year, you might see something surreal: A flock of healthcare workers in ridiculous shirts chowing down on puffy pink clouds of fairy floss.
Don't Panic. You're not delirious. You haven't entered the twilight zone.
You've stumbled across Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday. This is an annual event aimed at shining a light on mental health issues in the medical community.
The charity's co-founder Dr. Michael Kale explains:
There is a cruel irony in the disproportionate rates of suicide and mental illnesses facing individuals who dedicate their careers to helping others...Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday aims to empower the healthcare community to raise awareness and show support to each other.
This year Fairy Floss Friday is more important than everCOVID has affected mental health across the entire population. But, medical workers were particularly hard hit.
A recent systematic review of mental health among medical workers had alarming results. The review looked at rates of depression and anxiety in studies published between December 2019 and April 12, 2020. If we take the lowest reported figures from eligible studies, then:
The highest reported figures were 67.6% for anxiety and 55.9% for depression. Scary.
Here's how you can help
1. Attend Fairy Floss Friday
The bigger the event, the stronger the message. So throw on your loudest shirt, grab a free stick of sugary goodness, and help the medical community tell depression to #GetFlossed.
Follow Fairy Floss Friday on Facebook for event locations and times.
2. Organise your own Fairy Floss Friday
If there are no events near you, make your own! Contact the Fairy Floss Friday team for help getting started.
3. Donate! Donate! Donate!
Fairy Floss Friday want to turn their important (and delicious) event into a nation-wide movement. To do this, they need our help. Head to their website and donate.
Fairy Floss Friday is registered as a Health Care Promotion Charity with the Australia Not-For-Profit Commission. Donations are tax deductible in Australia.
How does Dr. Woof support Fairy Floss Friday?
If you follow #OperationWoof, you know how important the medical community is to us. Our mission is to make medical workers smile. That mission began with the sad realization that many of our healthcare friends and colleagues weren't smiling. At least not on the inside.
When we heard about Fairy Floss Friday, our first thought was:
Okay, fine. Our first thought was
But our second thought was about how to offer support.
We decided to support the cause by doing what we do best — scrub caps.
Woof x Fairy Floss Friday Scrub Caps
We created this scrub cap as a celebration of Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday. We've named the cap FAIRY FLOSS FRIDAY (creative, right?) and we are proud to announce:
10% of the cap's sales will be donated to Loud Shirt Fairy Floss Friday.
(And if you know a good cause, get in touch.)
Let's work together to spread joy in the medical community.