By Emalee Gillis, NAMI Spokane Blog Editor.

Seven bakeries in Spokane are putting their creative energies into designing depressed cakes. The only instruction given was that the cakes should be gray on the outside and colorful on the inside, similar to the way a depressed person might show a dark exterior, but have so much going on inside, including hope.

The cakes were commissioned by NAMI Spokane and can be bought whole or by the slice at a Pop-up bakery in the lobby of River Park Square on Friday, October 6 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. (or until the baked goods run out). The cakes are not the only attraction. On hand at the event will be people who have learned to live well with mental health conditions, people who have loved ones who suffer from mental health conditions and NAMI Spokane staff. The Popup is an opportunity to ask questions, get support, learn about resources that can help, and find out more about the services of NAMI Spokane.

This event is modeled after a similar event held by NAMI Seattle. A local board member was impressed by the uniqueness of the idea and how well the Popup worked on the other side of the state, so she brought the concept to Spokane.

Chauntelle Lieske, the Executive Director of NAMI Spokane said, “I am hoping the Popup raises awareness about mental health and sparks good conversations. The Popup will be a safe place to talk about mental health issues. I also hope to raise funds as well.” Funds raised by the event will go directly into NAMI Spokane programs including buying materials for 8-week education sessions NAMI Spokane offers for people who have mental health conditions and a separate series for people whose loved one has a mental health condition. The Popup may also help support programs like NAMI Spokane monthly support groups and educational efforts for school children, school staff, and the community.

NAMI Spokane will have informational brochures available at the event that include their contact information to encourage follow-up for more conversations in the future.

Local bakeries who are donating cakes for the event include Yokes Fresh Market, Sweet Frosting, Christ Kitchen, Boots Bakery, Little Garden Café, Rockwood Bakery and Fetch Barkery who will be providing treats for pets. River Park Square donated the space that will be used for the event.

Ms. Lieske added, “Where there is cake, there is hope, and there is always cake.”