I never thought baked goods colored gray would make me so happy. Brownies, cakes and cookies – all gray to represent the feelings of depression and other mental disorders. But hope is still present for those living with mental disorders and it is represented in many of these sweet treats as a bright color hidden on the inside.
This is the Depressed Cake Shop. It is a global pop-up shop motivated to raise awareness of mental health issues. Proceeds from the cake shops are donated to a local charity, and on Oct. 5 the cake shop came to Capitol Hill in Seattle to benefit the Greater Seattle chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The Seattle shop sold out in two hours – all 600 cakes, gone. It was a bittersweet feeling when I showed up, too late I discovered, to see the sold out sign on the door. Damn, I thought, I wanted to be a part of it – but how wonderful it is for NAMI to have successfully raised funds and awareness for this important cause.
One in four people are affected by mental illness; everyone knows someone. Those struggling with a mental illness should not have to suffer in silence, and that’s why depressed cakes make me happy. Take a peek at some photos from the event and see for yourself. It’s a creative way to reach out and educate the general public so that when someone does ask for help, they won’t be turned away or misunderstood.
I hope that the Depressed Cake Shop will return to Seattle in the near future, and this time I will be first in line.