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  • Jonathan Shiek

Befrienders KL Flamed For Romanticising Mental Illness With “Depressed Cake Shop”

Mental health support organisation Befrienders KL is currently under fire for a tweet that seemingly romanticises mental illness by selling baked goods under the theme of depression.

The organisation first posted about the “Depressed Cake Shop” (yes that’s the name) on Twitter last Friday. The series of tweets includes photos of cupcakes with the words “HELP” and “I’m Fine” scribbled on top in icing.

#KLDepressedCake Shop 2021. Let’s stand together in support of those with #depression and #mentalhealth issues and all those having grey moments and days. Mon 29/3 to Sun 4/4/2021 Proceeds of sale will be donated to non-profit org #BefriendersKL #SuicidePrevention pic.twitter.com/gW8wfghvsz — BefriendersKL 03-76272929 (24hours) (@BefriendersKL) March 23, 2021

The bake sale is said to be in support of those who are “feeling a little grey” and are “having grey moments and days” (hence the grey coloured cupcakes I guess). Proceeds of sale of selected baked goods will also be donated to Befrienders KL.

The tweet also references Depressed Cake Shop, which is the original “grey cakes” mental health awareness campaign that started in the UK in 2013.

Since the tweets, Befrienders KL has been widely criticised by netizens all around for trivialising and romanticising mental illness with distasteful cupcakes that do nothing to advocate about mental health awareness.

Ooooof this is very painful to see – a mental health hotline that is selling ✨aesthetic✨depression ✨pastries✨? ._____. Hope the team can understand why this was a really misinformed fundraising campaign. https://t.co/wJycAEVafr — Helter Skelter (@Roshinee_M) March 31, 2021
Now what is this? Mental illness isn't something you can make cakes about. Romanticising this illness isn't going to help https://t.co/sO1q8soUco — D.A (@danialafiqazlan) March 31, 2021

Some users even called out the organisation for their poor services on their suicide hotline.

im sorry but what the fuck?? dahla call tak angkat https://t.co/JrWGSPF6eK — Muazz (@muazzishak) March 31, 2021
honestly let's start with picking up the damn phone when one of us calls https://t.co/0qBigqUBpy — 𝔰𝔥𝔞𝔫 🗡 (@shvnnvlyn) March 31, 2021

Despite the widespread criticism, Befrienders KL has made no move to delete, acknowledge or apologise for this off-putting campaign, which is said to run from 29 March to 4 April 2021.

#bakesale #befrienderskl #depressedcakeshop

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