May be of interest to some



In March, a new donut shop opened in Campbell, California, called Psycho
Donuts. The store capitalizes on the theme of a ³fun mental institution,² a
³lighthearted insane asylum² complete with a padded cell where kids can
take photos while wearing a straightjacket, a “group therapy” area,
employees dressed in medical garb, and donuts named after psychiatric
disabilities, such as Massive Brain Trauma and Bipolar. Psycho Donuts¹
website states that it ³has taken the neighborhood donut and put it on
medication, and given it shock treatment.² The store owners have refused
meeting requests from NAMI and from the Silicon Valley Independent Living
Center. The Mayor of Campbell, Jane Kennedy, attended the ribbon cutting
for the business on April 2. The media coverage of the donut shop by the
San Jose Mercury News on March 16th unquestioningly validated the
discriminatory theme of the business.

Does this offend you? Are you as outraged about this as we are? If so,
please help us DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Send a loud and clear message to the
owners of Psycho Donuts and to the leadership of the City of Campbell that
the nationwide disability community WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS.


TODAY (April 3rd), sign your organization on to the complaint/statement of
community solidarity that will be presented to the Campbell City Council by
sending an email to The text of the statement is at the
end of this call to action.

Sign the online petition at
and encourage everyone you know to sign it.

THIS WEEKEND (April 4th and 5th), send a letter to the editors of the San
Jose Mercury News, The Campbell Reporter, and to the Metro Silicon Valley

Letters to the Editor

San Jose Mercury News

750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190


FAX: (408) 271-3792

Letters to the Editor

The Campbell Reporter

1095 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126

Phone: (408) 200-1000

FAX: (408) 200-1011

Executive Editor, Dale Bryant:

Editor, Dick Sparrer:

Letters to the Editor

Metro Silicon Valley

550 S. First Street

San Jose, CA 95113

Website to send letter:

FAX: (408) 298-0602

ON MONDAY (April 6th), call and email the following people:

The Mayor of Campbell, Jane Kennedy: (408) 855-2125,
The City Manager of Campbell, Daniel Rich: (408) 855-2125,
California State Senator Joe Simitian: (650) 688-6384, (408)
277-9460; FAX: (650) 688-6370
California Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr., (408) 282-8920; FAX: (408)

ON TUESDAY (April 7th), show up at the next Campbell City Council meeting
at 7:30 PM and voice your concern in person:

Campbell City Hall

70 North First Street, Campbell, CA 95008



April 7, 2009

Mayor Jane Kennedy

Vice Mayor Evan Low

Council Member Daniel E. Furtado

Council Member Jason Baker

Council Member Michael Kotowski

City of Campbell

Campbell City Hall

70 N. First Street

Campbell, CA 95008

Honorable Mayor Kennedy and Members of the City Council:

We recently became aware of a new establishment named ³Psycho Donuts,²
located in Campbell, CA. While the name itself is offensive, the marketing
approach taken by this shop is objectionable and potentially damaging to
Silicon Valley and the larger community due to its inaccurate,
stereotypical, and incendiary depiction of people with mental and
psychiatric disabilities.

The store capitalizes on the theme of a ³fun mental institution,² complete
with a padded cell where kids can take photos while wearing a
straightjacket, a ³group therapy² area, employees dressed in medical garb,
and donuts named after psychiatric disabilities, such as Massive Brain
Trauma. One might dismiss this donut shop as a harmless venture by young
entrepreneurs trying to find a hook in a bad economy­ but the ongoing
discrimination, and stigmatizing of people with mental disabilities in the
U.S. and globally puts a much darker cast on this questionable business

People with psychiatric diagnoses and intellectual disabilities experience
daily discrimination, unnecessary institutionalization, and
marginalization. Groups like Mental Disability Rights International have
documented widespread human rights violations, such as the ongoing practice
of painful and dangerous electroshock treatment, the large numbers of
deaths in mental institutions, and horrendous conditions in isolation
cells. To make fun of this very real human rights issue for people with
disabilities is unconscionable. How can one justify making a profit at the
expense of the dignity and human rights of other human beings?

We in the disability community recognize that great strides have been made,
such as the passage of the Mental Health Parity Act in 2008; however,
enforcement of the human rights and civil liberties of people with
disabilities remains a pressing global concern, evidenced by the United
Nation¹s recent adoption of the Convention for the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, and the United States¹ failure to sign on to the treaty. It
might feel like a great leap from the United Nations to the ³Psycho Donut
Shop,² but consider if the donut shop mocked ethnic minorities, religious
groups, the plight of people without homes, or people with terminal
illnesses. Wouldn¹t we all be outraged?

We request your assistance in brokering and facilitating a meeting between
the community and Mr. Jordan Sweigoron and Mr. Kipp Berdianski, co-owners
of ³Psycho Donuts.² Despite our best efforts, they have been unwilling to
meet with us. We hope to hear them out and discuss how we can work together
to achieve a common solution to the serious human rights issues raised by
³Psycho Donuts.² We also expect the following:

1. The owners of Psycho Donuts immediately change the name and theme of
the store and remove all references to institutions and people with
mental and psychiatric disabilities in their store, including, but
not limited to:
a. The name ³Psycho Donuts²
b. Donuts named after any type of disability
c. The padded cell
d. Straightjackets
e. Employees dressed as doctors or nurses
f. ³Group therapy² area
g. All references to shock therapy
h. The ³Bates Motel² display.
2. The store owners and city staff responsible for approving this
business issue a public, written apology to all people with
psychiatric disabilities and to the Disability community.
3. The owners, managers and employees of the shop, and city staff
responsible for approving this business, participate in a series of
ongoing disability awareness trainings within a specified timeframe
provided by the Pacific ADA Center.
4. The owners work in partnership with local disability organizations to
hire at least one person with a disability to work in the store.

Human rights are inherent to all human beings ­ we cannot afford to let the
thoughtless actions of some erode the rights of others to live with respect
and dignity. Thank you in advance for assisting our efforts to uphold the
respect and dignity of all human beings.

Co-Signatories (list in formation):


Silicon Valley Independent Living Center

Parents Helping Parents

Council on Aging Silicon Valley

Santa Clara County IHSS Advisory Board

Sensory Access Foundation

Services for Brain Injury



Disability Rights California, California’s protection and advocacy system

California Foundation of Independent Living Centers


American Association of People with Disabilities

Bazelon Center for Mental Health

3 thoughts on “May be of interest to some

  1. Are there actually people who are willing to purchase and consume a snack called a Massive Brain Trauma? Having worked in a classic Canadian doughnut shop in high school, I would argue that Massive Arterial Blockage is a more appropriate moniker, as well as less gratuitously obnoxious.

  2. Message to the City of Campbell, CA:

    This comes to express my concern as an advocate for individuals struggling with TBI or mental health issues as result of their service to our country in OEF/OIF.

    As one of our Nation’s premier multi-trauma centers in Palo Alto is so near you, I am sure you share my concern that we have too many military families in crisis — as evidenced by the shocking number of veterans committing suicide, incidents of domestic violence, and more.

    And Psycho Donuts tries to make fun of “Massive Brain Trauma,” etc.? Not funny at all.

    The theme of this business, their “jokes’ concerning mental illness posted on the internet, and their unwillingness to meet with advocates to discuss these concerns is totally unacceptable.

    Please do what you can to assure a dialogue with the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center to address this matter in a satisfactory manner.

    Best regards ~ AwakenNeo

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