The HEALTH : June 2019 - Page 31

june, 2019 | The Health Exclusive The team and volunteers at 2018’s Depressed Cake Shop. Fighting depression one cake at a time What comes to mind when you think of a pop up cake shop? Sabrinah asks me. “Colours of every kind,” I note. “The reason why we want the cakes to be the grey on the outside is to change your perception on what mental health is about. It’s clever really – because grey is a metaphor for depression. By having grey cakes, we’re challenging the expected, and getting people to challenge the labels they put on those who suffer with a mental illness. Then when you glance back at your bite mark, you’ll see that the inside of the dessert is actually laced with bright colours.” A sweet success “We had an amazing turnout. Tables filled to the brim with the most creative, wonderful looking grey goodies. You could see that the bakers really poured their heart and soul into creating what they felt – either maybe they themselves had depression or they knew someone who battled depression. When they were coming to donate the cakes, some of them would tell stories about themselves or somebody they knew who had depres- sion,” reminisced Sabrina. “We were strangers but they were pouring their heart out – it’s a sense of kinship,” she smiles gratefully. “We later organised another Depressed Cake Shop in Ipoh. In Penang, we engaged with China House during the Georgetown festival – the funds was then donated to Befrienders.” The Depressed Supper Club In 2016, Sabrinah decided to put a twist to her char- ity project. Instead of the Depressed Cake Shop, she organised the Depressed Supper Club. This masquerade street party was organised to raise funds to promote better understanding of depression. “The theme was the mask we wear, the mask we hide behind. It’s because people who suffer from mental illnesses especially depression, they hide their true feel- ings behind a mask. They never show others how they really feel due to reasons like acceptance and stigma,” explains Sabrinah. The event was filled with all kinds of delicious food - of course, sticking to the grey theme such as black rice nasi lemak, squid ink pasta, mushroom risotto, yam cake, bubur pulut hitam and of course for the perfect ending, the depressed cake shop as dessert. an idea. The book tells the story of a boy whose life with his mother is disrupted by the Grey Bear. “Many might think the book is too dark for a child but it’s much more than just a book about depression — it’s about confronting your fears, acceptance, courage and love,” she explains. Grey Bear Days A sweet ending Amid the sweet treats, a children’s book was born - telling the story of depression through the eyes of a child. Named the Grey Bear Days, the book came about from Sabrinah’s experience with the KL Depressed Cake Shop. She heard all of the stories behind the baked goods presented in their first venue, and this gave her Sabrinah has taken the battle against depression in Malaysia in the sweetest of ways and we are glad that she is using her experience with depression to empower others. After all where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake. — The Health All the grey yet delectable desserts made by people wanting to spread the awareness of depression. 31