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
Operating as usual
💗Mental Health Matters Discussion💗
Thank you, Dr. Bitner and True Women's Health for hosting this important conversation on mental health and total health care.
More on true. Women’s Health -
🦋Order - i understand pain, love and healing after suicide:
youtube.com The years leading up to menopause can bring changes to your body. Many women experience hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. But perimenopause and...
🤗It’s time to take care of YOU!
💗Need some advice and encouragement to take care of you?
🤗It’s not too late to join us. Today!
💗Feb. 23 -11:30am - 1pm
Learn to focus on your own: Solitary needs, Energy, Listening skills, Financial health
💗Check out our self-care download:
Today’s Registration: https://consumerscu.webex.com/consumerscu/onstage/g.php?MTID=e65b30ec61384770eafd01c6cab90f0ba
💗Shout out to Thornapple Kellogg Schools for “putting a lid on bullying” to raise awareness on the affects bullying can have on students.
🥰Huge hugs to Leighton for showing others she is stigma and judgement free by wearing her i understand gear to school!
🧐Check out our “downloads” under resources on our website to take the bullying quiz and learn more on how to respond to a bully.
💗An important panel discussion with Consumers Credit Union on Self Care!
🦋Honored to be a part of the conversation! Would love for YOU to join us too.
🤗CARE is a Four-Letter W*rd
Finding ways to cope, heal and move forward after 12 months of this ... stuff.
☹️The events of last year have taken a toll on all of us. And let’s be honest, 2021 isn’t kicking off all sunshine and daisies so far either.￼
💗Feb. 23 -11:30am - 1pm
Learn to focus on your own: Solitary needs, Energy, Listening skills, Financial health
💗It’s true, the world is SO much better with YOU and YOU can get through.
🦋Help is available. Talk to someone. Share your pain. Pain is treatable. Depression is an illness, treat it like one. Go to your doctor, therapist, friend or the emergency room.
🦋Acceptance is key. You must admit and accept your struggle. You’re worth it. Accept it. Call for help.
💗Help is available:
🤗National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1.800.273.TALK
🤗National Alliance on Mental Illness - 1.800.950.NAMI
The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–8 pm, ET.
🤗Substance Abuse - 1.800.662.HELP SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
National Youth Crisis: 800-442-4673
Boys Town: 800-448-3000
🤗Veteran’s Support - 1.800.273.8255
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.
🤗The National Council on Problem Gambling - 1.800.522.4700
The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem.
🤗The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is the largest and longest-serving network of nonprofit financial counselors. Their mission is to help all Americans gain control over their finances.
🤗National Domestic Violence Hotline - For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
🤗STOMP Out Bullying - Bullying hotline -
877 N0BULLY (877 602 8559)
💗Excited about new things to come!
Special thanks to Kim Fatura Rantala, Stanley Steppes, Lisa Bunnell and Dan Beeler for helping us to create some new messages of support and understanding.
💔The loss is devastating, confusing and heartbreaking.
😢We don’t feel as if we will ever make it through and we certainly don’t understand.
😞We are ashamed and can’t tell others how our loved one died.
☹️Other illnesses allow for compassion and understanding. Depression is an illness. Its present in over 90 percent of those who die by suicide - diagnosed and undiagnosed yet judgment follows.
💔I didn’t know. Depression has a deadly side effect. Why don’t we talk about it?
😞Survivors of loss are left with guilt and shame and question what we didn’t see or what we should’ve done.
☹️We lie. We say things like - he died from a car crash, heart attack or cancer. We can’t possibly tell the truth. We’re ashamed.
🤔We can’t possibly think of answering the most commonly asked question after a suicide loss - how did they do it?
😔Shouldn’t we be talking about the illness rather than the act?
💗Will you be a part of the needed change?
💗Will you recognize that suicide is a side effect of an illness or pain?
💗Will you understand that depression isn’t a choice... it’s chooses us - just like the flu, cancer, heart disease and ALL illnesses.
💗The pain is so debilitating, those struggling want their pain to end not their life - this is how the illness wins.
💗Let’s reduce the stigma by sharing our stories to let others know they are not alone. Your story and the way we talk about suicide needs to change.
💗Be the change by changing the way we view and talk about suicide. Read our definition petition to learn more.
💗Read or listen to - i understand pain, love and healing after suicide - written to bring understanding to something so difficult to understand.
💗We can no longer be ashamed.
💗You’re not alone and when you live in the truth of you’re own story... healing follows. It is then you can inspire others to live in their truth.
💗We are so much more than pink hearts! (Even though we L💗VE our pink hearts and their meaning!)
💗Did you know i understand does some pretty amazing things:
🤗Funded the first in the country nurse specializing in mental health in a traditional hospital setting at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
🤗Soon to introduce a sensory room for children on the autistic spectrum who are at risk of harming themselves at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
🤗Supports the Michigan Sheriffs' Association by providing resources to Victim Service Unit Advocates, recognizing all 574 advocates with Compassion and Courage Awards and creating awareness videos for training.
🤗Has a book, i understand pain, love and healing after suicide - written by founder Vonnie Woodrick to bring compassion and understanding to something so difficult to understand. Purchase here:
🤗Offers a Support Group to those who have lost a loved one to death by suicide.
🤗Recognizes the importance of movement by hosting weekly walks and encouragement with Get Up, Get Out and Walk for the Health of it.
🤗Hosts “Be the One” podcast to dig deeper into life experiences and encourage others to “be the one” for someone.
🤗Coming soon.. “Behind the Smile” podcast that brings hope to others by sharing personal stories that goes behind the smile.
🤗Wear, care, share campaign has given over 16,000 shirts away to evoke conversation, show others you’re stigma free and get people asking.. what does that mean?
🤗A Live Local Give Local partner that allows us to bring the conversation to everyday places to reduce stigma.
🤗Coffee & Conversation with Biggby. We encourage buy one - give one. Buy one for you give one to someone else simply to show someone you care.
🤗Definition Petition allows us to update the old stigmatized definition of suicide to an accurate less stigmatized definition. Changing the narrative is crucial for reducing stigma and changing lives. Sign it here:
🤗Speaking engagements at schools, Meijer, AARP, Hungerford Nickels, Consumers Energy, and more. Our founder is honored to be the keynote speaker in November on Suicide Loss Survivor Day in collaboration with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and West Michigan Survivors of Suicide Loss.
🤗Last but not least.. the Pink Heart Project allows i understand to continue our passion to bring the conversation to everyday places. Whether you’re a business, a friend or a school. Sharing your heart with someone else brings comfort knowing you have someone who will “be the one.”
💗We are so proud of our work and grateful to all the support given. Whether you follow us on social media, like our pages and posts, listen to our podcast, comment, share our information, read our book, walk with us, join our support group or donate - each one has great meaning to us. Thank you!
Would you like to support our work with a donation?
💗Did you know it’s Random Act of Kindness Day!?
🤗Although we believe every day should be filled with kindness, TODAY - do something kind for someone else, you will be glad you did!!
💗What was your act of kindness you bestowed on someone else?
🤗A suicide loss is devastating, confusing and feelings of guilt arise.
💗We are here to help.
🤗Join i understand and Mosaic Counseling tonight for conversation, comfort and understanding.
💗Register through Eventbrite link below - an email will be sent with zoom link.
6:30pm - 8:00pm
💗Join our Loss Support Group - Wednesday, 1/17 at 6:30pm!
💗i understand and Mosaic Counseling come together to support and offer compassion and understanding to those who have lost a loved one to death by suicide.
💗Register by clicking Eventbrite link below.
💗Today is the last day... very few are left BUT it’s not too late to snag this delightful scented, and meaningful candle for only $12 with 100% of proceeds going to i understand!
💗We are feeling loved! This little candle brought more than we could’ve hoped for!
💗Love was felt, friendships were made, conversations were had, awareness was raised and our mission supported.
💗That is love.
💗HUGE HUGS and LOVE to LIMA-United By Love for the generosity, passion and hearts of gold displayed for EVERYTHING you have done to create this successful campaign.
💗The community support from all the retailers listed below was AMAZING- each and everyone went above and beyond to support! Forever grateful! 🤗
💗Check with merchants below to snag you’re a before they are going, going.... GONE!
💗Self Love begins today! Get up, Get Out and Walk for the Health of it!
💗200 in 100!
💗Join us to walk 2 miles for 100 days! Your brain and body will love you for it!
💗Can’t commit to 2 miles? Create your own goal!
💗Walking 2 miles takes about 30 minutes - by committing to doing this for YOU - YOU will reap many benefits!
💗Feel less stressed, feel happier, strengthen your heart, boost your immune system and so much more!
💗Journal your challenge and discover where your steps will lead you!
💗Scroll down and join our walking group for daily inspiration.
💗The couples world we live in can be difficult for those who are single, grieving and alone.
💗Valentine’s Day and the reminders to make your dinner reservations, order flowers and buy some chocolate only escalates the feelings of loneliness.
💗Allow yourself to feel what you feel but try not to get caught up in the romantic side of this day.
🥰LOVE is LOVE and we are all surrounded by it, every single day. Have you taken time to notice it?
🥰The best Valentine gift you can give, is a gift of self love! Go out, get a massage, have a nice dinner, indulge in some chocolate.
🥰Being single shouldn’t define you in any way, actually it shows strength on how you can take care of you, provide for yourself and do what you want - when you want. Many are completely happy and fulfilled living the single life!
❤️Make it a day filled with love for yourself.
💗Think outside the box and warm your own heart by dropping off some flowers or a card to someone who may be grieving. You will make their day. That’s what love is. 💗
💗It’s Valentine’s weekend! Challenge alert!!
💗Don’t forget to give yourself some love too!!
💗Join our 100 day walking challenge beginning on Valentine’s Day!! Our mind and body is connected, there are so many benefits to walking - YOU will thank YOU!
👟Get Up, Get Out and Walk for for the Health of it!
👟Two miles EVERY DAY for 100 days!!
💪You GOT THIS!
💗Scroll down our FB to groups - ask to join! Follow our 100 days with us, share your thoughts and walks!
🍝We continue to support local by continuing our Amore Trattoria tradition by purchasing meals for our group to enjoy! We support those who support us - that’s why we purchased wine from Nighthawk Grille & Bar!
🥰Every year this time, love is in the air and talks of flowers, dinner and chocolate are abound!
💔Yet, some have broken hearts due to loss, grief or loneliness.
💗We shared some love with food and wine to a group of our friends that have lost their spouse.
🤗The community being built allows friendships to grow and hearts to mend.
💗Love heals and comes from the most unexpected places - can you be unexpected to someone by surprising them with a Valentine treat!?
💗Thank you, Kim Fatura Rantala for being a great member of our team!
💗It’s Make A Friend Day today!!
🤗It was great to see all the friends that stopped by the book signing at Leigh’s yesterday.
🥰I saw i understand friends and made new friends, all met through the organization. Truly, one of the most special gifts received are the many many special people I meet through my work.
💗Thank you for all the love and support.
🥰Special thanks to our friends at Leigh’s for hosting this event in your beautiful store with a beautiful staff.
🕯Love Heals candles by LIMA-United By Love are still in stock at Leigh’s and the many great retailers that joined in the campaign.
😊Get yours today! Once they are gone... they are gone! Oh... and don’t forget to make a friend today!
💗It’s the little things that make the biggest difference.
🤗Shout out to Kenowa Hills for recognizing the importance of bringing the conversation of mental/brain health to the classroom!
🥰Bigger shoot out for the students who shared their “prize” with Julie Yoder-Gregory and Vonnie Woodrick!
💗The thoughtfulness of sharing not only their treat but the note of appreciation touched our hearts.
🤗Share your story. It may just be what someone else needs to hear.
😷Mask up! 👚Put your pink on and stop by Leigh’s in Breton Village - tomorrow!
💗LIMA-United By Love - Love Heals candle to benefit i understand only $12! Limited supply of this delightful smelling candle scented with pink grapefruit, lemon peel, pomegranate with a hint of rosemary and cedar.
📦Think outside the box and light up someone’s life who may be grieving or alone on Valentine’s Day! A candle is a thoughtful and affordable gift! That’s pink love!💗
📚i understand pain, love and healing after suicide is only a $10 donation or bring your copy and have it signed!
❤️Check out Leigh’s amazing gift ideas for your Valentine! Winter Sale is going on now!
💗The little candle making a BIG difference!!
💗Get yours before it’s too late.... Love Heals LIMA-United By LoveUnited By Love candle!
💗$12 each - 100% of proceeds to i understand!
🕯Over 1700 SOLD! Only 300 to meet our goal of 2000 sold. We have less than a week to go! That’s $12,000 to our organization! Whoop!!! 👏
💗We have some friendly competition going on - who can sell the most?
💗Nighthawk Grille & Bar is in the lead with 225 sold! Sandra Elizabeth Wanzer has a huge following of support within her community!
💗Amore Trattoria Italiana - and Chef Jenna Arcidiacono has sold 150 BUT she just ordered 150 more which will put her to 300 if she sells them all by Sunday!
💗Still need one? Want more?
💗Nighthawk or Amore? They are in it to win it! Order take out and add a candle to your order!!
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