Political Correctness Watch: Mental Health Advocates Blast 'Psycho Donuts' Shop
July 24, 2009A mental health support group is blasting a Northern California donut shop that boasts of taking donuts to the next "demented level."
"Psycho Donuts has taken the neighborhood donut and put it on medication, and given it shock treatment," the company says on its Web site.
But United Advocates for Children and Families, a support group for parents whose children receive mental health services, says there's nothing funny about a company that sells donuts named "Bipolar," "ButterNUT," "Cereal Killer," and "Manic Malt," to name a few.
"As the former regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, I appreciate an individual's goal to live the great American dream and start a business, but profits should not be made at the expense of others," said Oscar Wright, chief executive officer of United Advocates for Children and Families (UACF).
"By naming a donut 'bipolar,' Psycho Donuts is trivializing a very serious and complex medical illness of the brain. It is not something to be taken lightly," Wright said Thursday in a news release. The Sacramento-based UACF says that taking mental health terminology out of context "leads to misunderstandings and confusion and furthers the stigma associated with a physical brain disorder that is not a choice." The consequences can be "devastating," Wright said, producing fear, mistrust and violence against people living with mental illness.
Kipp Berdianski, co-owner of the Psycho Donuts shop in Campbell, complained of being bullied in a recent letter to the editor of MetroActive, a Silicon Valley weekly newspaper:
"We opened up a business, because it’s the American dream. Because it has a chance of surviving a severe recession, we chose a donut shop.
“We made it very different, because if we didn’t, it would be like any other donut shop. Because our donuts look and taste crazy, we chose a fitting name. Because donuts have no feelings, they won’t be upset that we’re making fun of them." Berdianski wrote.
"Because we love Campbell, we chose our location. Because we will not fire our eight employees, we won’t shut down the shop. Because of First Amendment rights, we won’t change our name. Some groups are going after us...because they are bullies.
"Because there are a million donut shops, everyone has a choice. Because most people have a sense of humor and like our donuts, we are thriving."
The shop, which opened in March 2009, also offers a unique delivery service: “Be the first in your cubical to have a nurse deliver Psycho Donuts for your next meeting!” the Web site says.