One in four people will suffer from, or be touched by, a mental health issue at some point in their lives. The Depressed Cake Shop came to Penryn campus at the AMATA (Academy Of Music and Theatre Arts) building. It is a pop up stall that is a unique platform intended to raise awareness and discuss issues surrounding mental health, whilst raising money for local mental health charities.
The pop up stall that originated from America in states such as San Francisco and Los Angeles has now spread to the UK and has even popped up in Glasgow, Houston, Seattle, Kuala Lumpur, Atlanta, Australia and India.
All the cakes sold at the pop up stalls are designed and donated by bakers who have personal experiences with depression. They use their creations to articulate their struggles with and experiences of their illnesses.
Ashley Ross, first year Creative Events Management student at Falmouth University, said: “I really love the ideas behind the cakes, the idea is that there is a rainbow coloured cake in the middle covered with grey icing on the outside. The grey is seen as the grey cloud of mental illness representing the struggle with mental health and the rainbow being the person on the inside.”
Ross added: “There is a Silver Cloud app you can download if you have various things your struggling with. It tells you about CBT which means Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, you can go through all the modules and then FXU will review what you have done and give you some feedback.”
There have been many other stalls offering support for mental illness to students at the AMATA center. Carrick Mind is a local mental health charity which as been going for over 20 years. It is a local association of the national company Mind; Carrick mainly covers Truro and Falmouth.
John Gladstone, chief executive of Carrick Mind, said: “we offer one to one befriending and groups. We have started doing work at Falmouth University offering a twice monthly support group.”
Gladstone added: “We are just trying to reduce that sense of isolation that often comes with mental health problems. I’m really amazed with The Depressed Cake Shop it is such a simple idea but a effective one, we are really happy to be working with them.”
According to the National Union of Students (NUS). “Eight out of 10 students (78%) say they experienced mental health issues in the last year.” Mental Health is obviously a growing concern and organisations such as The Depressed Cake Shop, Carrick and Mind help to increase awareness of mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding it.