VA Launches $20M Innovation Challenge to Reduce Veteran Suicide

On May 25, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced an opportunity for stakeholders, including counties, to participate in Mission Daybreak — a $20 million grant challenge designed to help VA develop new suicide prevention strategies for veterans.

Under the new initiative, 40 teams will receive awards ranging from $100,000 to $3 million, distributed across two phases. Applicants have until July 8, 2022, to submit their proposals.

VA will support challenge applicants with a collection of open data, surveys, and reports on Veteran suicide prevention as they prepare their concept papers. The VA also invites participants to join the Mission Daybreak solver community to expand and augment their teams with interdisciplinary expertise.

Applicants are encouraged to register for the upcoming virtual information session and topical webinars to learn more and hear from experts.

According to the National Association of Counties (NACo):

Individuals or teams applying for the grants are encouraged to submit concept papers focused on one of the following key areas:

  • Using digital data from active and passive sources
  • Improved access to and efficiency to the Veterans Crisis Line
  • Preventing firearm suicides
  • Improving community resilience and connection
  • Incorporating family and community into veteran’s well-being
  • Reducing barriers to veterans asking for help

Mission Daybreak is part of VA’s 10-year strategy to reduce veteran suicide, which remains a public health crisis impacting communities across the nation. Counties are key partners in efforts to prevent veteran suicide and ensure comprehensive mental health services to veterans and their families. County officials and other stakeholders interested in applying to the challenge must submit a detailed concept paper to VA no later than July 8, 2022. Click here for more information.

Visit the NACo website for more information.