“I hope Andrew’s legacy will be to raise awareness for others to speak up to help themselves.”
Those are the words of Eva Tu, widow of Andrew Tu who took his life on April 5 of this year.
Andrew was a pharmacist at the Yass Pharmacy, beginning the role in July, 2016.
Affectionately known as Andy to the pharmacy and wider Yass community, his life will be remembered and celebrated on Thursday, September 14 as part of R U OK? Day.
The pharmacy will lead a fundraising initiative in honour of Andy and to raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues as part of R U OK? Day.
Pharmacist Andrew Douglas, who was proud to call Andy a mate, said it would help continue Andy’s legacy and to inspire residents to check on the welfare of family, friends and neighbours.
Andrew said it was “still raw for everyone and we’ll never forget what happened”.
“After Andy passed, we had people coming in to say they had similar situations. So there are a number of people in the community who have been affected by this.
“If we can help that legacy, we will,” Andrew said.
On September 14, Andrew and colleagues will wear yellow and hold a barbecue outside the pharmacy, with all proceeds going to the R U OK? organisation.
“We’ll also be asking a friendly ‘are you okay?’ to people on the streets. We’re hoping that will then get some to talk to friends to raise awareness,” he said.
As well, the pharmacy will provide coffee vouchers (for cafes in Yass Valley ) to residents where they will receive a free coffee when they purchase one. The aim is to encourage residents to take a friend for coffee to have a conversation.
“It’s not just a coffee, it’s a strong reminder to ask your friends and family if they’re going alright,” Andrew said.
If you or someone you know needs to talk, help is available at the following:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- BeyondBlue: 1300 224 636
- Men’s Line: 1300 789 978