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There Is No Way to Sugar Coat These Donuts
Date:7/10/2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 10 /PRNewswire/ -- After several months of protests, media coverage and online uproar, Oscar Wright, the chief executive officer of a leading statewide mental health organization, and Kipp Berdiansky, co-owner of the controversial shop Psycho Donuts, will meet face to face to discuss mental illness, the associated stigma and the shop's questionable business practices.

Owners Kipp Berdiansky and Jordan Zweigoron opened Psycho Donuts in March 2009 in Campbell, California. Inside the shop, customers experience a mock padded cell, a straitjacket, employees dressed as nurses and eclectic donuts with names such as "bipolar," "massive head trauma" and "manic malt." The "bipolar" donuts are topped with half nuts and half coconut shavings, while the "massive head trauma" features a frightened face with red jelly oozing from its side.

"Making fun of individuals with mental illness is not funny -- it's hurtful," said Oscar Wright, CEO of United Advocates for Children and Families (UACF), who seeks to end mental illness stigma and build bridges between families with mental illness and the community at large. "Psycho Donuts' use of mental health terms and concepts for commercialization sake continues to keep the stigma of mental illness alive and prevents individuals from seeking treatment."

The donut shop owners argue people should have a better sense of humor. A posting on their blog, Psycho Buzz, reads, "We might be insulting the flour inside of that very sensitive donut, but let's agree on one thing: donuts are not people; and the names of our donuts do not correspond to any opinion or pre-conceived notion about people."

Mental health advocates and individuals affected by mental illness strongly disagree.

Christine Stapleton, a staff writer for Palm Beach Post, writes in an article, "Oh really. I have bipolar. I am not amused by a doughnut called 'bi
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SOURCE United Advocates for Children and Families
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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