WAGNER, S.D. (KELO) — Mental health can be a hard topic for people to talk about. However one KELOLAND community is working to make it a part of the conversation.
It’s a common sight around the city of Wagner. People are pulling out their best pair of silly socks.
“It is a “SOC” day in Wagner and SOC stands for strengthening our community,” RN and clinical coordinator at Wagner Community Clinic Avera, SOC Committee Member, Connie Kaufman said.
The SOC Committee uses socks to help bring awareness to mental health.
“We are asking the community to show your socks, to show you care,” Kaufman said.
This is the first “SOC” day in Wagner. From students to community members, plenty of people are showing their support. But that’s not all.
“We also have a lot of ‘socking’ going on in the community, so ‘socking’ is a positive act of sharing a pair of socks with someone to show that you care about their mental health and overall wellbeing,” Kaufman said.
Mental illness is something that affects people of all ages and all walks of life.
“1 in 5 people deal with mental illness sometime throughout their life and I love that our community is working really hard to be proactive and supportive,” special education director, SOC Committee Member, Missy Slaba said.
That’s why this group is working to make this topic easier to talk about, all with the help of silly socks.
“The SOC committee is trying to really take the time and involve all community members on ways to reduce the stigma that can sometimes be attached to mental illness, it would be great if individuals felt like they could walk into a clinic or hospital to get help with depression or anxiety or suicidal thoughts as openly and freely the same if they would a broken arm,” Slaba said.
Raising awareness about mental heath, one step at a time.
The group also sells socks with the suicide prevention hotline number.