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Wear your sassiest mismatched socks to support our healthcare workers

During these unprecedented times, our healthcare workers have shown that superheroes don't always wear capes.

Medical professionals have provided constant care, despite exhaustion, risk of infection and possible transmission to family members, along with experiencing loss, whether it has been patients, family, or friends. It would be impossible to get through such situations without encountering stress and anxiety, sometimes affecting their ability to cope. A big concern is that healthcare providers may be reluctant to ask for help if needed, particularly when it comes to mental health challenges during the pandemic.

That's why Cipla, in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) are participating in the international #Socks4Docs campaign, founded by an Australian doctor, Geoff Toogood (www.crazysocks4docs.com.au), who experienced both depression and anxiety. The campaign seeks to help reduce the stigma associated with depression and ultimately decrease the high suicide rate among healthcare professionals, by raising awareness about the issue. This campaign encourages everyone to unite and support our medical fraternity by wearing mismatched, odd socks that generally come out of everyone's laundry or simply the craziest, most colourful and fun socks you can find on Friday, 4 June.

CEO of Cipla South Africa, Paul Miller said: "These medical heroes often go unnoticed and receive little recognition, which is why for the third year Cipla is taking part in the international #Socks4Docs Campaign. We've seen public interest growing each year with this campaign highlighting the very real mental health issues that come with working in such an environment. It also goes a long way to breaking the very real stigma still attached to mental health issues."

Show you support

When wearing your mismatched socks, remember to take a selfie of your feet and post it on social media using the hashtag #Socks4Docs.

To help focus people's attention on the mental health challenges within our medical profession and show support for our healthcare workers, Cipla has donating 25,000 pairs of colourful, eye-catching socks to medical professionals and medical students countrywide.

If you wish to purchase a set of the unique Cipla socks - the proceeds will be donated to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) - you can do so on Takealot (www.takealot.com). That way you can stay trendy and support our wonderful medical fraternity, which also includes medical students, interns and those doing community service. These individuals need your thoughts and support. So don't forget to wear your colourful, mis-matched socks and let your feet show your love and support for our medical professionals.

If you know anyone, not just a medical professional that needs help or has suicidal thoughts, take them seriously and call the Cipla 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 456 789 or WhatsApp 076 882 2775 for free counselling from a SADAG counsellor.

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