I Understand: Providing Education, Support and Awareness about Suicide

For those who are struggling with mental illness, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or click here for more information.16195503 731897576975141 3968917548630764586 N

After losing her husband to a terminal mental illness, Vonnie Woodrick has made it her mission to help others ‘understand’ and provide resources for those who have lost a loved one to this terrible disease. In light of ‘World Suicide Prevention Day,’ we learned more about her story, nonprofit, and advocacy for suicide prevention.

i understand is a nonprofit organization that supports those that have lost a loved one to death by suicide or struggle with a mental health illness,” explains Woodrick, who is the founder for i understand.  “It was really important for me to start bringing this conversation of mental health illness and pain to the forefront to everyday places. When I lost my husband 17 years ago, we didn’t have that support. We didn’t have resources and that really is what i understand is about”.

Since it’s creation, i understand has not only been an exceptional resource for families and individuals, but as a way to change the narrative and stigma that surrounds “suicide”. Woodrick started a petition to “change the definition of suicide”, which can be accessed via their website. “The dictionary definition of ‘suicide’ is ‘the intentional taking of one’s own life’ – OUR definition of the disease is ‘a terminal side effect of mental illness’ and ‘the result of wanting one’s physical or emotional pain to end'”.

To make sure her story, message, and mission reaches more people, Woodrick released the book, i understand: Pain, Love, and Healing after Suicide to help herself and others heal.

“I hope that this book brings some much-needed compassion, hope, and understanding for those who are going through a difficult time,” mentioned Woodrick. Click here for more information about i understand: Pain, Love, and Healing after Suicide.

To help support i understand, they will be hosting a Pink Heart Day Drive Thru fundraising event, on September 10 at Federik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. They are making a call out for donations ranging from $100 to $2,500, and the event will feature prizes, a meet ‘n’ greet with their mascot, photo-ops, and a performance from Shimmie Pearl.

For more information about the Pink Heart Day Drive Thru event, click here.

Click here to learn more about i understand.

For those who are struggling with mental illness, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or click here for more information.

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