Andrew Gabriel Epp was a gentle, beautiful soul. He loved the outdoors, fishing, camping, horticulture and animals. Unfortunately, Andrew also struggled with mental health issues and, after a lifelong battle, took his own life in the early morning on May 18, 2019. He was 36 years old.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. The night before he passed, Andrew’s family were begging local facilities to admit him. They were turned away and told that, because he wasn’t vocalizing that he wanted to hurt himself, the earliest he could even see a doctor was August 2019. The thing is, often those considering suicide don’t vocalize their plans. And they can be turned away in the moments that help is most needed.
This is not the Epp and Mannix families’ first experience with profound grief. In October of 1980, Andrew’s older sister Lauren passed away at the age of five from a brain tumor. In March of 2005, Andrew’s older brother Paul also took his own life after years of struggling with his mental health. And just six months ago, in December of 2018, Andrew’s father passed away after a long battle with physical and mental health challenges.
We are collecting money to help with the family with final expenses and to assist in moving Andrew’s mother Donna to live with her children, as Andrew’s passing left her alone.
Anything is appreciated, and anything over and above what is directly needed will be donated to mental health charities to help fix this broken system. Andrew’s family’s hope is that no one with mental health issues would ever be turned away when they or their families are seeking care.
Andrew is survived by his Mother Donna Epp, older brother Matt Epp, older sister Aimee Mannix, sister-in-law Ashley Epp, brother-in-law Jesse Mannix, and his loving niece and nephews Caelyn Mannix (4), Declan Mannix (6), Caleb Epp (15), Joshua Epp (11) and Daniel Epp (8).