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United Drug has announced a new two-year partnership with Aware to help support the charity with its vision to create a society where people affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood-related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies.

Aware was chosen as the new charity partner after a company-wide vote and a period of research, which was conducted across McKesson Ireland, and includes businesses operating under the TCP Homecare, LloydsPharmacy, Median Healthcare and United Drug brand names. The new partnership commenced from 1 October and as part of the partnership, United Drug said it hopes to not only support Aware through fundraising, but also to increase mental health awareness and support for McKesson Ireland staff and customers. Now more than ever, it is important that people prioritise their mental health and United Drug, together with Aware, has said it will be working to educate and support their staff throughout the partnership.

Aware is a non-profit organisation providing education, support and information around depression and bipolar disorder. More than 450,000 people in Ireland experience depression (one-in-10) at any one time, but many hide their condition and never get help. The help Aware provides to those suffering is essential, and in these difficult times the need for that support is more important than ever.

Mr Paul Reilly, Managing Director of McKesson Ireland, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Aware will be our charity partner over the next two years. We hope to create a valuable partnership, which sees their excellent work supported and promoted amongst our staff. Now more than ever, we all need to be aware of the signs of distress and actions we can all take as a society to help remove the stigma around mental health and we look forward to announcing a series of employee-led fundraising initiatives and awareness events soon.”

Mr Stephen Butterly, Head of Fundraising and Business Development at Aware, added: “We are delighted to have been chosen as charity partner for McKesson Ireland and would like to convey our thanks to each and every staff member who voted for us. Simply by choosing Aware, you have already helped us in our mission to reduce stigma by acknowledging the importance of mental health to us all, whether we need support or wish to learn the skills and tools to proactively look after our mental health.

“Like the majority of organisations, big and small, Aware is facing new operational and financial challenges since the emergence of Covid-19. For Aware, this is within the context of a dramatic increase in demand for our services as we adjust to the socioeconomic consequences of Covid-19 and a new way of life. We are addressing these challenges head-on and with the support of charity partners like you, Aware remains fully committed to our vision and the provision of our free support, education and information services — essential services which have a significant and positive impact on individuals, families and communities all over Ireland.

“On behalf of our 400+ support volunteers nationwide, on behalf of our small staff, and most importantly, on behalf of all of those who will benefit directly because of your efforts, thank you. We look forward to working closely with all at McKesson Ireland to bring this partnership to life.”