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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert – PSYCHO DONUTS: TASTELESS

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NAMI StigmaBuster Alert
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Online: www.nami.org/stigma


PSYCHO DONUTS: TASTELESS

Join the national on-line food fight.

Help turn lemon donuts into lemonade.

Since early spring, NAMI Santa Clara County and other mental health groups have been
fighting an impressive, valiant battle against stigmatizing elements of a "Psycho
Donuts" store that opened outside San Francisco.

The store's worst features include a straitjacket, padded cell decorations and
tasteless donut names-such as "Massive Head Trauma," which has especially enraged
war veterans.

Concern has existed that the company's business plan may envision franchise
expansion to other states or communities-but victory may be near. The store owner
has promised an "evolution" and some changes are starting to be made. Nonetheless,
the story "went national" this week.

***********************
NAMI StigmaBuster Alert
***********************
Online: www.nami.org/stigma



PSYCHO DONUTS: TASTELESS

Join the national on-line food fight.

Help turn lemon donuts into lemonade.

Since early spring, NAMI Santa Clara County and other mental health groups have been
fighting an impressive, valiant battle against stigmatizing elements of a "Psycho
Donuts" store that opened outside San Francisco.

The store's worst features include a straitjacket, padded cell decorations and
tasteless donut names-such as "Massive Head Trauma," which has especially enraged
war veterans.

Concern has existed that the company's business plan may envision franchise
expansion to other states or communities-but victory may be near. The store owner
has promised an "evolution" and some changes are starting to be made. Nonetheless,
the story "went national" this week.

* Fox News ran a "debate" between the business owner-a Silicon Valley
entrepreneur-and the head of United Advocates for Children and Families (watch:
http://www.comcast.net/video/1205635272/psycho_donuts)
* AOL.com ran a story with a reader survey-60 percent of respondents supported the
store. Last time we checked, there were more than a thousand reader comments posted.
Add your own at:
http://smallbusiness.aol.com/article/_a/we-should-all-be-so-crazy/20090803135409990001

* An ABC News story also produced strong reader comments. Please review them and add
your own at: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=8252636%26page=1

Protests raise awareness and begin a process of education-and dialogue-even if they
don't immediately change minds. Here are points to consider in posting your own
comments on-line. The basic points can be used in almost any situation-and any
ongoing reports of this controversy.

* The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that stigma surrounding mental
illness-including mockery-is a major barrier to people getting help when they need
it.

* Would a business ever seriously consider a humorous theme involving cancer, heart
disease, diabetes or burn victims?

* Mental health advocates work every day to help individuals and families who need
help. Does Psycho Donuts support that need? For people who want to learn more about
mental illness and education and support programs please visit www.nami.org

* We respect freedom of speech-which includes our right to protest. We also have a
sense of humor (Food fight? Lemon donuts?). But there is such a thing as business
social responsibility. Psycho Donuts should not be contributing to a public health
crisis by reinforcing stigma. They should be supporting education and recovery.Yes,
donuts can be funny. But not tasteless ones that are hazardous to public health.

We congratulate NAMI Santa Clara County and all the other groups and individuals who
have been leading the fight in the local community-and seeking a constructive
outcome. We welcome the business owner's promise to "evolve." Let's hope it happens
quickly.

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