i understand is for living in peace and understanding associated with losing a loved one by suicide or those suffering with a mental illness.
i understand is non-profit organization, social media group and apparel campaign to support those who have lost a loved one by suicide or struggle with mental illness. By supporting i understand, you help to erase the stigma and judgement associated with mental illness and suicide. Based in Ada, Michigan, i understand provides compassionate comfort to individuals and communities by hosting monthly educational awareness events. Through a partnership with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, i understand delivers mental health care packages to patients in West Michigan and families around the world. i understand was created by Vonnie Woodrick in 2014 in loving memory of her husband Rob who lost his battle with depression in 2003. i understand does not provide counseling or clinical mental health services. Help keep our hearts whole after the sudden loss of someone who died by suicide. i understand is a campaign to let others know they are not alone after such a loss. Our hearts are immediately broken and added to the pain are the questions, the stigma, the guilt, the confusion and the tears. The survivors of suicide must live with all those emotions and the misconceptions. Simply, by joining us and wearing an i understand t-shirt, you are giving all of us who have lost a loved one to suicide, have attempted suicide or suffer from a mental illness, a relief that there are friends among us who truly understand. Here are some things to remember that can help eliminate the stigma surrounding suicide: 1. i understand suicide is an effect of an illness 2. i understand mental illnesses are treatable 3. i understand stigma is the #1 reason why someone would not seek treatment for mental illness; education and awareness are vital to saving and changing lives 4. i understand reaching out to those who are suffering could save a life; let someone know you are available and treat them with respect and compassion 5. i understand most people who are suicidal do not want to die; they want their pain to end 6. i understand speaking out about suicide may empower others to share their stories 7. i understand feelings of guilt are part of the grieving process on the way to finding peace and acceptance 8. i understand those who die by suicide do make it to heaven
Mission: We believe we can erase stigma and judgement associated with mental illness. The t-shirt give away is an opportunity for people to wear i understand proudly in hopes it will open up conversation in regards to a subject that is often avoided.
Operating as usual
💗The More We Talk The More We Know💗
💗There is so much power in not only living your truth but speaking your truth. Thank you Tennille for allowing us to share some of yours.
💗Some profound words here:
“My pride gets the best of me and I fear rejection by admitting it.”
The last line... WOW - we must hear the silent cries.
“I am a survivor of suicide. I have survived both of my suicide attempts as a young adult. I continue to survive from the trauma by the losses of suicide in my life.
I struggle with anxiety and depression. It took a very long time for me to admit this and there are still times it taste like vinager coming out of my mouth. My pride gets the best of me and I fear rejection by admitting it. I had convinced myself that I was only struggling with circumstances in my life. That I did not need to talk to anyone and I didn’t need any treatment. However I don’t believe I would be alive to share this tonight if I hadn’t sought treatment. I’ve learned that It’s alright to admit that you have anxiety and depression. It’s alright to seek treatment. It’s healthy to talk about this, it’s so good to talk about this.
It’s ok to not be ok. We need to start talking about this. And for those who are able to hear the cries, especially those that are silent…..” Tennille 💗
Thank you, Ginger Zee for believing in the power of sharing stories and how the conversation surrounding mental health is so important to reducing stigma.
“Love heals. It always does” Ginger Zee💗💗💗
Purchase book here:
💗RIP - RBG💗
💗FREE MENTAL HEALTH PORTAL💗
If you want access to free digital lessons designed to help students in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being, get help from:
This portal will be available to parents, teachers and children at no cost until the end of the 2020-21 school year.
The lessons cover a variety of topics that help children in grades K-12 learn to:
💗Understand and manage their emotions
💗Set and achieve positive goals
💗Feel and show empathy for others
💗Establish and maintain positive relationships
💗Make responsible decisions
💗Recognize signs of poor mental health in themselves and others
💗Develop healthy coping techniques
💗Nutrition and wellness
💗Social media use (pressures and responsible use)
💗Drugs & Alcohol (vaping)
Resource - Michigan.gov
🦋Grateful for Sanford House🦋
🦋Sanford House is a treatment and addiction center. The treatment programs at Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women and Sanford House at John Street for Men are gender specific to foster safety, honesty and community.
🦋Need suppprt? Loved on struggling with addiction? Help is available.
🦋Check out the latest Excursions article with Marilyn Spinner and Vonnie Woodrick.
🦋The butterfly reminds us, change can be beautiful.🦋
sanfordhousegr.com National Suicide Prevention Month is a good time to speak to Vonnie Woodrick about her new book. Vonnie and her children are suicide prevention advocates.
Hurt people, hurt people.
Bullying can cause some deep seeded pain usually caused by someone who is looking to take your power away to make them feel better. Why? Most likely, they are suffering from their own pain.
Bullying doesn’t just happen in school, it happens at home, in the workplace and in the gym.
Take some advice from Julie as she knows all you well the pain and devastation bullying can cause.
“As a youngster I remember the saying “sticks and stone will break your bones but words can never hurt you”
Well, who made that up? Words hurt!!! Even if you know they aren’t true they hurt.
Your heart hurts and your mind is playing games with it. For some reason your mind is telling you that things don’t matter, that your friends and family don’t matter, that you don’t matter!
Well I’m here to tell you that it’s wrong! You matter to your family and your friends. You want to know how I know, because my daughter died by suicide and there isn’t a day that goes by that her family and friends don’t think of her and wish she were here. Three years seven months that’s how long she has been gone. When she ended her pain, she threw away every chance she had to make things better. That pain she had was temporary. One split second ended every opportunity of her life EVER getting better.
Am I pouring my heart out to you yes, why, you ask?
💗You are beautiful
💗You are funny
💗You are brave
💗You are smart
💗You are needed
💗You are strong
💗You are unique
💗You are worthy
💗You are special
💗You are loved
💗You are important
💗You are not alone
You are one of a kind and that’s what makes you special.
My advice to you:
Don’t let those bullies bring you down. Let your light shine on, you have so much to offer this world. If they are bullying you chances are they are bullying others. Show the mean kids what nice is, they want you to feel inferior to them. Don’t give them the satisfaction. You are stronger then they are. The struggles you are having now will not last forever, I promise.”
Julie, mom to Jessica.
Help is available 24/7 - 1.800.273.TALK
💗Start the Conversation TODAY💗
It’s Buy One - Give One at Biggby!
Buy one for you - give one to someone else!
No coupon needed!
💗Grateful for Michigan Sheriffs' Association💗
We are proud to support all 52 Victim Service Teams for their volunteer work with families who’ve been affected by the devastating loss of suicide.
Victim Advocates are volunteer citizens who are trained in assisting law enforcement with death notifications and helping families through the tragedy.
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss presented Pink Crystal Heart Awards to Volunteer of the Year, Chuck Roetman along with Mindy Wilson Johnson and Pattie Thayer who were responsible for the newly established program, we are proud to be a part of.
We are grateful for each of our advocates and their selfless and compassionate work in their communities. All advocates will receive a well deserved Compassion and Courage Certificate from i understand.
Help us, help them by donating here:
💗Support Group Wednesday💗
Roselle Park Building - Outside
6:30pm - 8pm - Bring a chair.
Outside the building at Roselle Park, there is a reminder on a brick... all you need is love....
Sometimes we need more than that but love helps and as we know, love heals.
Join us at our judgement free, stigma free support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Sign up here:
Fight back. Reach out. Tell someone. Call your doctor or a helpline. We want you here. We need you here.
911 - life threatening emergency
211 - crisis resources
311 - non emergency for essentials
💗Pink Heart Day Photo Booth - Drive Thru Style💗
Smiling faces from Glitter Photobooth and Two Eagles Marcus!
So much fun! Huge hugs and thanks to all who drove through. 💗
💗The real hearts behind i understand💗
Volunteers make it happen and we are forever grateful for those who give their time to help us help others.
Please give a huge shout out to these amazing friends turned family for their commitment to i understand and making a difference!
Such a surreal day of devastation and life changing events that still impact me today.
9/11/01 was the trigger of my husbands fear of the unknown, very similar to the fears many feel today living through a pandemic. The loss of so many lives so tragically affected each and every one of us. The worry of will this happen again, what will happen to my business and what will this do to the economy, are real concerns.
The after effects of 9/11 still linger.
It’s important we recognize that devastation like what happened on 9/11 can trigger anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts especially as we think back to the trauma and loss that took place on that day.
Today, make a difference. Remember those we lost that day or those who may be struggling by simple acts of kindness. The smallest acts sometimes have the biggest rewards. Try it, you will see.
💗I don’t know where to begin...
💗All I can say is I am overwhelmed by the love and support from this community.
💗Thank YOU for being a part of this journey that allows us to come together to offer hope, compassion and understanding.
💗Pink Heart Day was MORE than I expected. More support. More love. More conversation. More involvement. More friends.
💗The subject is difficult yet the more we talk, the more we know, the more we understand, the more lives saved.
💗So... here’s to more to come because of YOU. Thank you for your belief in what we do and understanding the changes that need to be made.
💗LOVE HEALS. My heart healed a bit more today. Thank you.
Order book to understand even more.
💕 The event has officially begun! 💕 This year it may look a little different but that won’t stop us from spreading awareness. #loveheals
National Suicide Prevention Day!
Remember to be the one for someone. 🤗
💗National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Day💗
Our world is much better with you in it. Reach out. Please.
💗Thank YOU for helping US help them!💗
Pink Heart day is finally here and we couldn’t do what we do without support from our amazing community partners and in kind donors.
💗Our pink hearts are bursting with gratitude💗
💗Buy One 💗Give One Today💗
The conversation begins with coffee or your favorite Biggby beverage!
Talking about, whatever your problem may be is one of the best things you can do to help someone or yourself.
Start the conversation.
Buy one, give one for FREE - TODAY!
🍕It’s your last chance🍕
Pre-order - Amore Pizza Kit🍕
Pick -Up at Pink Heart Day🍕
Take home 🏡
Make and Bake 👨🍳
💗Pre-order until 5pm tomorrow- 9/9.💗
💗Pick Up - Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park - 9/10 - 4pm-7pm.
🍕No Pink Heart Day Ticket needed to shop our Pop Up Shop or pick up your pizza🍕
💗💗LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE💗💗
💗Pink Heart Day Drive Thru
💗Thursday 9/10 - 4pm - 7pm
We are beyond exited and extremely grateful for all of YOU who will be joining us on Pink Heart Day!
Looks like we have a few more passes available to experience this unique, safe and fun event! The proceeds will go directly to supporting our programs.
Want more info? Click on our website:
💗Everything has changed.
Time doesn’t heal, it goes by fast or is at a stand still.
You’re thought of each and every day, sometimes every minute. Love Never Dies.
Are you struggling? Reach out. The devastation that occurs after a loss doesn’t ever go away.
Help is available. Call your doctor. Tell a friend. Go to urgent care. Call 911 or a crisis line - 1.800.273.TALK💗
💗Help Us Help Them💗
The work continues, even on Labor Day!
We are proud to present 564 Michigan Sheriffs’ Association Victim Service Units Advocates with Compassion and Courage recognition certificates.
These advocates have the difficult job of going into a families home after a suicide loss. Families are devastated, confused and in shock.
We recognize the pain that follows the knock on the door. These advocates show courage throughout this difficult task.
i understand will now be providing resources for advocates to provide to families offering compassion an reducing judgement.
Join us on Pink Heart Day and give a wave and a shout out as you drive up and see these volunteers who are dedicated to making a difference.
💗Here’s the rundown....
💗Pink Heart Day - National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month - September 10th - 4pm - 7pm💗
💗Tickets available $100 donation:
💗Amore Pizza Kit Pick Up - pre-order on above link💗
💗Drive up recieve a Meijer bag with a Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park day pass and $20 Cafe food voucher, an i understand umbrella and our own LOVE HEALS hand sanitizer sample.
💗Your first stop is the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association Victim Service Units Volunteers. Stop, give them a shout out as appreciation for their difficult work.
💗Continue your drive through with:
💗Vonnie Woodrick and receive her newly released book, i understand pain, love and healing after suicide, a bookmark and a signature of you’d like. Already have a book, donate it back.
💗Book donations will be accepted for our support of the Victim Service Units and can be purchased for $10 on Pink Heart Day.
💗Pink Heart Stress Ball, more available for a $1 donation.
💗Meet Jordan Carson from eightWest, Jordan will provide you a sweet treat, Meijer Pink Heart Cookie. Joining Jordan is BIGGBY COFFEE providing you with a Biggby Beverage Coupon.
💗Meet our Butterfly Award recipient, Monica Sparks and learn more about Community Of Hearts!❤️
💗Sign our Definition Petition
💗Bracelets made by Delaney and Zoe, coloring therapy pages and $5 cash & carry youth tees.
💗Drive thru photo booth with Glitter Photobooth and Two Eagles Marcus.
💗Ice Cream from Nighthawk Grille & Bar and Wicked Pro Events.
💗Meet our Mascot.
💗Popcorn from Celebration Cinema.
💗Shop our Pop Up Shop - Park and walk up - two shoppers at a time.
💗Live Music from Shimmie Pearl!
💗Pick up your pre-ordered pizza kit from Amore Trattoria Italiana and say hi to, Jenna Arcidiacono.
💗See you at the Drive Thru!💗
💗One of the most important things you can do to help your loved one... talk to them.💗
So many are struggling but we are not talking enough or perhaps we don’t know what to say.
Know someone struggling? Fight with them.
Talk to them.
“I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride. Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having--yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the scum named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.
I would have told you to recruit soldiers to help you fight the war against depression and drive it from your the lands of your mind and soul.
Remember, no pride. Freedom is having nothing left to lose.
Ask a family member or a friend to stay by your side, 24/7. Walk into a psychiatrist's office unannounced and tell that person that you don't want to live another moment. Stop at the local police station and turn in the thief trying to steal your life by stealing your ability to believe that relief might be just a day, or a week, or a few weeks away. Give that thief no quarter.
I would have told you that every depression is a fighter pumped up on steroids, with a glass chin, trying to scare you into throwing in the towel. Start punching back hard, and keep punching, and that loser will land on the canvas, with you standing strong, every single time. No exceptions. It could be the very next punch you throw that puts it down.
It is not too late for the millions suffering with major depression. No, it is never too late when the enemy relies entirely on deception to do its dark work.” KA - excerpt from Fox News
Nick specializes in working with couples, couples enduring infidelity, young adults, and men's issues. Nick loves to help people better understand each other so that they can improve their relationships. What's more fulfilling than a loving relationship?
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