Reducing Veteran suicides is a top clinical priority for VA. That’s why VA launched the Mission Daybreak grand challenge in 2022, which awarded $20 million to suicide prevention solutions that can meet the diverse needs of Veterans. Across two phases, 40 teams received awards.

Building off the work that began with the grand challenge, the mission brings Veterans, researchers, technologists, advocates, healthcare providers, health innovators, and service members together to collaborate and advance suicide prevention solutions. Mission Daybreak is part of VA’s 10-year strategy to end Veteran suicide through a comprehensive, public health approach.

VA is now providing promising solutions with additional technical assistance, including human-centered design and learning, as well as piloting opportunities. Read the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) 2023 State of Innovation Report for a look at VA’s collaboration with Mission Daybreak teams Realized Care (formerly BehaVR) and Televeda, as well as support for program pilots.

Teams continue to develop their solutions to meet both Veterans and clinicians where they are. Over the last year, teams have also had opportunities to participate in a range of conferences and events, meeting with Veterans, Veteran families and caregivers, innovators, and funders.

HLTH 2023
At the HLTH 2023 conference, October 8 to 11 in Las Vegas, Dr. Amanda Lienau, Director of Open Innovation at VHA, shared how VA provided both funding and non-monetary resources—including synthetic data, research, mentorship, educational webinars, and partnership opportunities—through the grand challenge to address VA’s top clinical priority.

During the showcase, Mission Daybreak teams Even Health, NeuroFlow, Realized Care, ReflexAI, and Televeda presented their solutions to an audience of health innovation leaders.

2023 VHA Innovation Experience
From October 31 to November 2 in Washington, D.C., Veterans, innovators, VA colleagues, industry leaders, and researchers gathered for the 2023 VHA Innovation Experience (iEX) to shape the future of Veteran care. Dr. Amanda Lineau joined Mission Daybreak teams Neuroflow, the Overwatch Project, and ReflexAI for a panel discussion. Team representatives discussed their paths in developing solutions for suicide prevention, their collaboration with VA, and future plans for their solutions. Mission Daybreak teams Battle Buddy, Even Health, and Vara Safety also had the opportunity to showcase their solutions to event attendees.

The panel focused on the human impact of teams’ solutions and the stories of the people who have become involved. From working with the people most impacted to learning through collaboration with other teams, Mission Daybreak has helped innovators transform and scale their work.

What comes next: Stay connected with Mission Daybreak

Coming together as a community is critical to reducing Veteran suicides. Mission Daybreak is building an ecosystem of support for innovators and their solutions by fostering further collaboration and partnerships with Veterans, Veteran families and caregivers, Veterans Service Organizations, healthcare providers, funders, policymakers, and advocacy organizations. By bringing fresh thinking, outside perspectives, and innovative concepts to suicide prevention, we can serve those who have served and provide meaningful support.

See the teams at ViVE 2024
On February 25 in Los Angeles, hear from VA representatives and Mission Daybreak teams ReflexAI and BattleBuddy at ViVE 2024. The session will explore how Mission Daybreak exemplifies VA’s ongoing efforts to prevent Veteran suicide, highlighting how the two teams’ solutions demonstrate the power and potential of open innovation.

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As Mission Daybreak drives forward, we are excited to share news and opportunities to engage with the teams. Sign up for the newsletter to receive the latest stories on Mission Daybreak’s progress.