We believe in a future where the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness is erased.

Providing compassionate comfort and understanding for those affected by suicide or mental/brain health illness and pain. 

Let’s change the definition of suicide to change the conversation
‘Behind the Smile’ with Vonnie
‘Be the One’ with Aaron & Vonnie
Information and dates for upcoming
i understand events
Together, we can provide comfort, relief and unity simply by sharing.
Share your heart and ‘be the one’ for someone
Monthly tips and resources to improve your mental/brain health


  1. i understand suicide is an effect of mental/brain health illnesses or pain
  2. i understand mental/brain health illnesses are treatable and preventable
  3. i understand stigma is the #1 reason why someone would not seek treatment for mental/brain 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

Change the Conversation, Change Lives

Love heals and can be found in unexpected places.

Vonnie Woodrick, founder of i understand, shares her passion for changing the definition of suicide and how her journey led to hope and understanding.

Our Upcoming Events

Click on any image below for more information

Our Partners

Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1.800.273.8255 (TALK) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741

If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.

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🦋You may believe the world is better without you… 

trust me it’s not. 

It’s excruciatingly painful. It’s devastating and we think about you, every single day. 

We wonder what we could’ve done. What we could’ve said. We live with guilt even though we know you lived with an illness and the effects the illness had. Some think it was a choice. We know better. 

We need to understand the effects that living with pain can have. We need to update the views and narratives so stigma and judgement will no longer prevent you from talking about and telling someone how you’re feeling. 

The book, i understand pain, love and healing after suicide was written to help bring understanding to something so difficult to understand. 

Review by GC: 

I loved that this book is an honest look inside the tough journey mental health can bring into our lives. If you know someone whos been affected by suicide, depression, anxiety, or any mental health struggle you could take something from this book. I dont think Ive ever read a book and felt so much love. I cried and couldnt put it down until I finished it.


If you are living in pain, need someone to talk to - help is available 24/7 - 1.800.273.TALK


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Comment on Facebook

I truly understand....I pray that someday it will be easier for everyone to feel comfortable enough to seek help.....thanks to you, Vonnie, I see those changes happening 💕. Just seeing your posts gives me strength enough to know others care😊. It’s been a really rough road with depression for me😐. Much love to you!

So absolutely true💔


💗Feel Good Friday!!! 

Music reduces stress, elevates mood, improves sleep and connects you with others!! 

🎤Shimmie Pearl and The Soul Syndicate play live on Friday!! 

👏The Ballpark Series kicks off Friday - 6pm - Sullivan Field! Portion of ticket sales to benefit i understand! 

Grab a ticket or two and a Pik-Nik basket for a feel good Friday!! 

Tickets - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ballpark-series-with-the-soul-syndicate-shimmie-pearl-tickets-340249965807

See you there!! 

👇👇Shimmie Pearl at Meijer Gardens for an i understand event!! 

👉👉👉 Update about timing tomorrow! 
Gates will be open at 5pm. Feel free to come pick your favorite spot, grab a drink and enjoy a bunch of yard games. 

Shimmie Pearl will start at 6:15! 
Soul Syndicate will start at 8

👉👉👉There is a stage, seating is grass so picnic style seating they can bring lawn chairs there are bathrooms and a cash bar! 

Thank you all for supporting local musicians I understand and Fans of Valley Field.

#ballparkseries #shimmiepearl

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Comment on Facebook

Who's going?? It's suppose to be 91 so I'm not going to pre buy tickets. Tickets at the door are 20 bucks. I've never been to Sullivan Field so I plan to drive there today to check it out to see if it's "Larry" friendly. 🙂 If anyone out there has been there for a lawn concert, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

💗Teen Group Support! 

Our first teen support group brought teens/young adults and parents together to share stories, talk about our loved ones, and build a community of support. 

🤗A few words from our group friends…

“I hope by participating in this group I can make connections with others and learn more about mental health and what we can do as a society to help those who are struggling.” Charlotte 

“Group felt welcoming accepting, kind and okay. Other parts felt scary, vulnerable and heavy. All the parts combined together felt important, necessary and change making in ourselves.” Teen mom 

💗Walking into a support group isn’t easy. There’s fear of the unknown and worry of what emotions will be evoked. We know how difficult it can be. 

We are confident the hardest part is walking in and walking out… you will be glad you walked in. 

Questions - info@iunderstandloveheals.org 


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Comment on Facebook

Thank you for creating a safe place for these teens and young adults to be vulnerable. ❤️❤️

Thank you Vonnie for opening up your heart and creating this safe space ❤️

Thanks Vonnie for getting this program started! It is a safe space for teens to be real with themselves and with their peers.

This is great! Real advocacy at work i understand!! Undeterred!

Did we miss this? 💕

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💗Listen up!!! 

Info on Saturday’s Reed Lake Run is here: 


Great interview with The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin! It’s not too late to join in for the fun - dog friendly, kid friendly and pink heart medals to top finishers!! 

Whoo hoo… would love to see you! 

Thank you, Betsy Granstra and East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation for including us in this fun and meaningful day!! 


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