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Pastest Partners with You Okay, Doc? for a Night of Inspiration and Giving
  • 16 Jan 2024
  • News

In a heartwarming collaboration that blended the worlds of mental health advocacy and medical education, You Okay, Doc? (YOD) and Pastest joined forces for the inaugural Liz Sizer gala. The night unfolded with grace and purpose, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to make a difference in the realm of mental health.

Hosted by the charismatic Manley Hopkinson, the esteemed patron of You Okay, Doc?, the event kicked off with an insightful overview of the cause. Hopkinson's words accurately captured the essence of You Okay, Doc?'s mission – to provide vital support, community, and understanding to healthcare professionals facing mental health challenges.

Dr Liz Sizer was a much-beloved mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, and work colleague. She was the cousin of Dr Daniel Gearon. Liz had been an anaesthetist at King's College London and died by suicide in 2016. Following Liz's death, Daniel founded the charity, You Okay, Doc? to provide doctors with a safe space to talk about their mental health.

"She was compassionate, focused, and strove for excellence. She was a champion of change and a brilliant teacher." - You Okay, Doc?

The gala featured powerful and inspirational speakers who shared their personal journeys, shedding light on the importance of mental health awareness within the medical community. Dr. Liz O'Riordan, a British retired breast surgeon renowned for her tireless work in breast cancer awareness, took the stage to openly discuss her own experiences. Her raw and authentic storytelling resonated with the audience, emphasising the importance of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health discussions. Reminding us that 'just because someone seems really really happy, they might not be inside and they do need you to say, are you okay?'.

"Stand like a superhero! how does that feel, head up, shoulders back, nobody can touch you when you're standing like Batman or Ms. Marvel" - Dr. Liz O'Riordan

Dr Philip McGeown, better known on social media as Dr. Mental Health, delivered a moving testimonial about his struggles with mental health, work, and life. His candid sharing not only humanised the challenges faced by healthcare professionals but also highlighted the critical need for a robust support system. You Okay, Doc? emerged as a beacon of hope through Philip's struggles, as he recently shared on his social media that the charity provided 'community, connection, validation, peer support, activity, focus on helping others, purpose.'

"Find your community, connect, talk with peers, take part in activity that helps yourself & others, look for purpose that aligns with your uniqueness..." - Dr Mental Health

One of the highlights of the evening was a silent auction that proved to be an incredible success, raising an impressive £10,000. However, the impact was doubled as the event collaborated with Big Give, a non-profit charitable site that allows donors to discover and support charity projects, turning the initial sum into a staggering £20,000. This financial boost will play a crucial role in expanding You Okay, Doc?'s reach and enhancing the support services offered to those in need.

The gala also marked the presentation of the first Liz Sizer Award, recognising outstanding dedication to reshaping mental health. The deserving recipient, Emily Palmer, was celebrated for her unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the mental health landscape.

As headline sponsor Pastest were honoured to deliver a speech. Gillon Campbell, the founder's son and Non-Executive Director spoke about the journey of Pastest, highlighting the core values and how it all started with the mission to help doctors, healthcare professionals and 'really make their lives a little bit easier'.

"Can we make a little bit of a difference, to make your lives easier, to have a little bit more time to go out, to see your partners, your families, socialise, do some sport, all the things that we know are good for us and our mental health." - Gillon Campbell

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Pastest Liz Sizer Gala Guests

Notably, Pastest's presence was enriched by the attendance of esteemed guests, such as;

Dr Matt Lee: An internal medicine doctor (IMT1) at University College London Hospitals. Background in medical technologies including 3D printing and artificial intelligence: co-founder of M3dicube, a non-profit organisation that teaches medical professionals how to use 3D printing, also runs a YouTube channel creating medical education content with >500,000 views.

Dr Kiran Bains: The MRCPCH Programme Director for Pastest and a Paediatric Specialty Doctor, where she divides her time equally between medical education and clinical work. Advocate for self-care and well-being of women and mothers in medicine through closed social media.

Dr Daniel Olaiya: NHS Doctor in Anaesthesia and Critical Care specialty training with a specialist qualifications from The Royal Colleges in Aviation, Aerospace medicine and Pre Hospital medicine with a passion and wealth of experience in aeromedical transfer and retrieval, Digital and Global Health.

Jess O'Logbon: Final year medical student/soon to be junior doctor and content creator, shares opportunities for aspiring/current medical students to thrive in their careers over on TikTok, Instagram and her website. Also, an entrepreneur, selling 1000+ of her own ebooks about how to relocate as a doctor abroad, fund medical school with scholarships and bursaries and get involved in high-quality research.

Dr Bakhtar Ahmad: Medical graduate from Barts and the London, specializing in Prehospital Medicine. Founded THE MEDIC LIFE, offering affordable resources and support for aspiring doctors. With a decade of teaching UCAT and BMAT to nearly 1000 students, he has crafted a course to enhance their scores without breaking the bank.

Dr Sarah Birkhoelzer: A Cardiology Registrar with a subspecialty interest in cardiovascular imaging and heart failure. Advocate for diversity and inclusion and is a member of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) Women in Cardiology committee. Founded the Women in Cardiology mentorship programme to improve the personal and professional well-being of women in cardiology.

Dr Azmain Chowdhury: London-based doctor and medical educator with a strong online presence—300K+ Instagram followers, 80K+ TikTok followers, and 19K+ YouTube subscribers. Recognised speaker for YouTube, part of the YouTube Shorts Creator Community, and member of the YouTube Health program. Founder of Social Media Medics, uniting 100+ top UK health creators to promote evidence-based health information.

The event was a resounding success, uniting professionals from diverse backgrounds in a shared mission to prioritise mental health. The event not only raised significant funds but also created a platform for open dialogue, fostering a supportive community within the healthcare industry. As the night concluded, attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to championing mental health awareness within their respective fields.

To Get Support: (i) The Huddle - YOD therapist-led peer support groups and (ii) Text YOD  to  85258  for free, confidential, 24/7 mental health SMS support from trained mental health support professionals.

Listen or Watch Educational Resources: YOD deliver evidence-based tools that empower doctors' and nurses' mental health, including via their YOD Podcast and webinars.

  • 16 Jan 2024
  • News