About us


i understand is a non-profit organization that offers compassionate comfort to those affected by suicide and mental illness.


Establishing informed, understanding, and compassionate communities by erasing stigma associated with suicide and mental illness.

Our Work

Based in Ada, Michigan, i understand provides compassionate comfort to individuals and communities by:

  • hosting monthly educational awareness events in West Michigan
  • hosting a free, monthly support group in Grand Rapids, Michigan for those who have lost a loved one by suicide
  • providing speaking engagements on the topic of mental health and life after losing a loved one by suicide 
  • delivering mental health care packages to patients in West Michigan and families around the world 

Through a partnership with Spectrum Health's Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, i understand funded a full-time clinical nurse specialist position, effective July 2017. This groundbreaking role in collaboration with a local mental health non-profit is the first of its kind in the country. Nurse Ashleigh Kearns is dedicated to educating hospital staff on mental health and providing patients and families with educational resources, emotional support and i understand care packages following a mental health crisis.

i understand mental health care packages are currently distributed at the following locations: 

Donate now to sustain and grow the i understand mental health care package program.

Thank you to Baudville for helping support i understand's mental health care package program.


i understand was created by Vonnie Woodrick in 2014 in loving memory of her husband Rob who lost his battle with depression in 2003.



What We Believe

  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


i understand does not provide counseling or clinical mental health services.