Face the Fight™ Coalition Expands to More Than 50 Members, Funds Next Round of Grants Supporting Veteran Suicide Prevention
USAA-led initiative, with founding partners the Humana Foundation and Reach Resilience, gains steam to increase awareness of national crisis
SAN ANTONIO – As the nation marks September as National Suicide Prevention Month, Face the Fight has gained momentum in bringing together businesses and organizations in the fight against veteran suicide. Since launching in June, the Face the Fight coalition has expanded to more than 50 members and is now issuing its second round of philanthropic funding, with $7.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations focused on combating veteran suicide.
“Veteran suicide is a national tragedy, and the DoD and VA, along with many nonprofit organizations, are already doing meaningful work to combat the problem,” said Wayne Peacock, USAA president and CEO. “At USAA, we saw an opportunity to use our expertise, network and connection to the military community to join the fight. Through Face the Fight, the business community can be nimble in complementing existing work, as well as reach veterans who may not be accessing care or resources through the VA system.”
A recent Military.com article highlights new research from the University of Texas at San Antonio and underscores the importance of community-based programs in addition to clinical programs – a key focus of Face the Fight. The research also notes that traumatic brain injuries are a contributing factor to veteran suicide, alongside mental-health diagnoses, relationship and financial stressors, legal challenges, and the pressure of transitioning to civilian life.
“As the Face the Fight coalition expands, the ecosystem of support for veterans grows to meet them where they are and equips them with the evidence-based solutions they need,” said Bruce D. Broussard, Humana’s president and CEO. “This milestone expands access beyond the clinical setting to reach every veteran, especially those from underserved communities.”
An initial $2.5 million in grants from USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc., made through Face the Fight in 2022, focused on increasing access interventions for suicide in clinical settings. Early results of that funding included training 200 mental health clinicians, screening over 7,000 individuals for suicide risk, and delivering suicide-specific interventions to over 1,600 veterans.
"We have a responsibility to create greater awareness about the needs of our veteran community," said Sonya Medina Williams, president and CEO of Reach Resilience. "As we grow the number of organizations and businesses who are involved in our effort to prevent veteran suicide, we enhance our ability to bring critical resources to veterans and military families, broaden awareness of the crisis, and save lives."
The new round of grants, totaling $7.5 million, will fund programs run by 14 nonprofits in communities across the country, including Vets4Warriors’ program to provide around-the-clock peer support to veterans in locations with higher rates of suicide, and the Overwatch Project, a FORGE Foundation program that equips veterans and service members to intervene with peers to discuss and make plans for protective firearms storage measures when suicide is a risk– reflecting the high rate of firearms in suicide among the military and veterans. Nearly all grantees have programs or clinics in communities across the country.
“We are deeply thankful to receive support from Face the Fight,” said Casey Woods, executive director at FORGE Foundation. “This grant will fuel a significant expansion of our Overwatch Project programs into communities that need them most, empowering veterans and service members with new tools to save lives.”
The second round of grants from USAA and The USAA Foundation Inc. will be made to:
- Centerstone Military Services
- Cohen Veterans Network
- Columbia Lighthouse Project
- Denver Research Institute
- The Headstrong Project
- Objective Zero
- Overwatch/FORGE Foundation
- Stop Soldier Suicide
- The University of Washington
- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- The Veteran Spouse Network at the University of Texas at Austin
- Wounded Warrior Project
New coalition partners may bring additional donations or professional services in support of the initiative, building on the $10 million commitment from USAA, the $6 million commitment from the Humana Foundation and $25 million commitment from Reach Resilience. Face the Fight will provide grantmaking to organizations to support evidence-based programs that align with public-health best practices for suicide prevention and data from the VA.
To learn more about Face the Fight, find help and join the fight, visit wefacethefight.org.
Media resources: To access Face the Fight assets, including a Fact Sheet, video and graphics, visit the USAA newsroom.
About Face the Fight
Founded by USAA in 2023, with the Humana Foundation and Reach Resilience, an Endeavors Foundation, as founding partners, Face the Fight is a collaborative effort of corporations, foundations, nonprofit groups and veteran-focused organizations charged with raising awareness and support for veteran and military suicide prevention. The mission of the initiative is to break the stigma of seeking help, increase the conversation about the problem and complement the efforts of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Defense (DoD) and many others to stop veteran suicide.