Today, VA named finalists and Promise Award recipients in Mission Daybreak—a $20 million challenge to help VA develop new suicide prevention strategies for Veterans.

The 30 finalists will each receive $250,000 and advance to the Phase 2 virtual accelerator program. In recognition of their solutions, an additional 10 teams will each receive a Promise Award of $100,000.

Mission Daybreak is accelerating suicide prevention

Suicide is one of the greatest public health issues we face today. The unique nature of Veteran experiences can often make Veterans particularly vulnerable to suicide. To address the many causes of suicide, Mission Daybreak called for innovative solutions across a range of focus areas. Phase 1 was open for submissions from May to June 2022.

VA received more than 1,300 concept submissions from Veterans, Veteran Service Organizations, community-based organizations, health tech companies, startups and universities in its effort to help transform the way the country addresses suicide.

Solutions ranged from technology-enhanced lethal means safety concepts to targeted virtual care programs. These are promising suicide prevention concepts that have potential to offer healing and recovery to Veterans.

“Suicide is one of the most serious public health issues facing our Veterans today,” said VA Under Secretary for Health Shereef Elnahal, M.D. “Through Mission Daybreak, VA is driving groundbreaking collaborations to transform suicide prevention efforts for Veterans—and all Americans.”

Finalists to join virtual accelerator program

During Phase 2 of the challenge, the 30 finalists will join a virtual accelerator program designed to help develop ambitious but achievable roadmaps for prototyping, iteration, testing and evaluation.

Phase 2 to award $11.5 million in prizes

In November 2022, finalists will present at Demo Day, a live pitch event for finalists to discuss their solutions with key stakeholders, investors and partners.

Phase 2 will award $11.5 million in prizes:

  • Two first-place winners will each receive $3 million.
  • Three second-place winners will each receive $1 million.
  • Five third-place winners will each receive $500,000.

Through Mission Daybreak, VA is investing in a national ecosystem of support for suicide prevention, catalyzing transformative innovations that could dramatically improve outcomes for Veterans.

How to get involved

To learn more, visit and subscribe to the challenge newsletter.

Want to support VHA IE’s innovation revolution? Visit our website ( to learn about opportunities to become involved in innovation at VA.

By Kalyn Essex

Communications officer at the VHA Innovation Ecosystem and Air Force Veteran

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Published on Sep. 19, 2022

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One Comment

  1. Ben Washburn September 22, 2022 at 10:25 am - Reply

    This project stole millions to pay themselves for things we already had

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