February 16, 2023
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has named televëda as a winner in Mission Daybreak grand challenge — a $20 million challenge designed to help VA develop new suicide prevention strategies for Veterans. As a first place winner, televëda will receive $3 million.
Televeda’s solution, Project Hózhó, is designed to prevent suicide amongst Navajo Veterans by promoting social connectedness and community healing through traditional healing practices.
From May to July 2022, Phase 1 of the challenge received 1,371 concept submissions from solvers that included Veterans, Veteran service organizations (VSOs), community-based organizations, health tech companies, startups, and universities. Multidisciplinary panels of reviewers and judges assessed submissions according to the evaluation criteria.
Following Phase 1, 30 challenge finalists each received $250,000 and advanced to the Phase 2 virtual accelerator program, which helped them develop ambitious but achievable roadmaps for prototyping, iteration, testing, and evaluation. Technology partners supporting the accelerator included Amazon and Microsoft. In November 2022, finalists had the opportunity to speak about their solutions with challenge judges and representatives from VA, Veteran Service Organizations, Capitol Hill, and policy institutes at Demo Day, held at the Samsung Executive Briefing Center in Washington, D.C.
The multidisciplinary judging panel — representing a diversity of perspectives, from Veterans and clinicians to social workers and technical experts — evaluated submissions from the 30 finalists in Phase 2. The panel recommended the 10 winners based on the official evaluation criteria.
Following Mission Daybreak, VA may engage with select solutions through contracts, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), or other partnership vehicles.
Visit MissionDaybreak.net for more information on the challenge.
Reporters covering this issue can download VA's Safe Messaging Best Practices fact sheet or visit ReportingOnSuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.
Televeda's mission is to reduce social isolation and loneliness by building and supporting growing virtual communities. Founded in 2018 and based in Arizona, we serve people in more than 26 states, partner with over 125 community-based organizations, and have delivered thousands of hours of programming to bring people together, regardless of age, digital literacy, physical ability, or location.
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