Veterans Affairs has announced the winners of the Mission Daybreak Grand Challenge, part of a 10-year strategy to end veteran suicide through a comprehensive public health approach.
Veterans, veteran service organizations, community-based organizations, health technology companies, startups and universities submitted concepts ranging from targeted virtual care programs to other promising suicide prevention technologies that connect veterans to healing and recovery, according to the VA.
The agency awarded first-place winners Stop Soldier Suicide and Televëda with $3 million each.
Televëda's Project Hózhó is the first mental health app for American Indian and Alaska Native populations. The app, and comprehensive operational plan, were designed in partnership with veteran communities for Navajo Veterans. Project Hózhó incorporates traditional healing practices – like storytelling and talking-circle interventions – and improved access to VA resources to reduce AIAN veteran suicide rates.
U.S. veterans have a suicide rate that has been double the rate of nonveterans in years past. Those in rural areas are more likely to die by suicide than those in urban areas.
But studies show that technologies like telehealth can treat suicidal ideation anywhere veterans are.
Televëda'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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