Depressed Cake Shop

The Depressed Cake Shop, a worldwide grassroots organization that is committed to changing the conversation around mental health, has partnered with three bakers to promote a new collaboration. Founded in 2013, the Depressed Cake Shop has raised over $60,000 for local charities working in mental health by selling baked goods at pop-up shops around the world.

Sugar artists are often inspired to lend their talents to cake collaborations — a tradition in the world of sugar art — by a cause, an event or a personality. Robin Williams, someone who delighted the world with his talent and his generosity, was chosen by Mary Tomczak, Laura Peterson and Jane Reyes in order to celebrate his life. Each baker designs and creates a sugar sculpture at their expense. The only payment is the pleasure of sharing their art, and in this case, creating a gallery of beautiful work to remind people that often our brightest and best artists, family members and friends are quietly suffering behind their smiles.

San Franciscan Jane Reyes, one of “Legacy of Laughter’s” organizers brought the first Depressed Cake Shop to America.

“Some days I wake up in a cloud and I can't turn my head without a bolt of anxiety,” says Reyes, explaining her involvement with DCS. “One particularly difficult day, I needed something—but what? I went to the kitchen. Why am I so sad? I need a cup of butter. When will I feel better? I need 2 cups of sugar. Is this genetic? Did it come from my mom or dad?  Before I know it I'm focusing on something and the lightning seems to be gone. This is where the Depressed Cake Shop was born, on a cloudy day.

The Depressed Cake Shop is providing spaces free of stigma for people who are struggling. “The Legacy of Laughter collaboration came together on a wing and a prayer,” says co-organizer Mary Tomaczek. ‘We are thrilled that so many amazing artists agreed to join the cause and lend their talent and time, including some of the stars of the cake world. People like Lizzo Marek, Reva Alexander, and Paul Joachim, who have been featured on television and in magazines for their edible art, were enthusiastic participants.”

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, hosted World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. This year’s theme is “Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives,” and will focus on raising awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death on a global level. Governments need to develop policy frameworks for national suicide prevention strategies. At the local level, policy statements and research outcomes need to be translated into prevention programs and activities in communities.