by: Jordan Carson
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD TV)-#iunderstand provides compassionate comfort to individuals and communities affected by #suicide and #mentalillness. Vonnie Woodrick, #IUnderstand CEO, began the non-profit to help eliminate the #stigma surrounding #suicide, and to continue the conversation and spark awareness.
Vonnie Woodrick created the “#iunderstand” organization after her husband lost his battle with #depression in 2003.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
“I thought death by #suicide was something a crazy person did,” Woodrick said. “But now, we know death by #suicide is a side effect of an illness, so we need to treat all #mentalhealthissues like illnesses.”
Pink Heart Day was held at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, in Grand Rapids on September 10, 2020. Community supporters along with Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Doug Meijer, Vonnie Woodrick and many businesses came to show support, during the drive-through event, to keep the conversation going about #suicide and #mentalhealthawareness. Mayor Bliss also declared Sept. 10 as Pink Heart Day. Click the video above to watch Pink Heart Day.
There are many ways ‘#iUnderstand’ is helping and providing resources across the West Michigan community. For more information, visit the i Understand website.
Call the #SuicidePreventionHotline at 1.800.273.8255
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 #UnitedStates.