SSS will work with Amazon’s cloud computing arm to redefine the way suicide risk is understood and acted upon.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (November 30, 2022) - Stop Soldier Suicide (SSS) has been selected as a winner of the 2022 Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant, a public grant opportunity open to registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the United States that are using technology to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
The grant will support Stop Soldier Suicide’s Black Box Project, which uses best-in-class forensic tools to extract data from digital devices entrusted to the organization by surviving family members of veterans who died by suicide. Those digital autopsies can uncover acute details about the final days, weeks and months before a death, and provide never-before-known insights that can be translated into advanced methods of care and outreach.
“On behalf of our entire team, I want to extend tremendous thanks to Amazon Web Services and the IMAGINE Grant committee for investing in a solution that we’re confident will redefine the way we understand and act on suicide risk,” Stop Soldier Suicide CEO Chris Ford (USAF, Ret.) said.
“This collaboration puts some of the world’s most powerful forensic and artificial intelligence tools at our fingertips, and using them to develop a clearer understanding of what can really happen leading up to a suicide death will expontentially increase our ability to save lives.”
Now in its fifth year, the AWS IMAGINE Grant program provides vital resources to nonprofit organizations looking to deploy cloud technology as a central tool to achieve their mission goals. As part of the program, AWS seeks proposals for exceptional ideas on how to leverage technology in innovative ways to accelerate impact in local and global communities.
In conjunction with this award, Stop Soldier Suicide will leverage a diverse suite of Amazon Web Services tools to unlock the potential of Black Box Project. Products such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS Athena, AWS SageMaker, and AWS Comprehend, alongside a host of others, will turn potentially disparate extraction and analysis processes into a streamlined tool with a consistent technology profile.
Machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and entity extraction techniques – powered by AWS – will be used to build models of pre-suicidal behaviors highly correlated with suicide, which will uncover novel signals and insights that can be shared with the veteran-serving community to save lives at scale.
Stop Soldier Suicide was named a winner in the Go Further, Faster category, which recognizes highly innovative projects using advanced cloud services. SSS was awarded $100,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as $25,000 in AWS Computing Credits, and engagement with AWS technical specialists.
Proposals were judged on several factors, including the innovative and unique nature of the project, impact on mission-critical goals, and clearly defined outcomes and milestones.
Previously, Stop Soldier Suicide was named a 2021 winner of the Amazon Web Services IMAGINE Grant for Nonprofits in the Momentum to Modernize category, in recognition of its utilization of AWS services to streamline living client care.
Since the launch of the IMAGINE Grant program in 2018, AWS has awarded more than $6 million in unrestricted funds, AWS Promotional Credits, and AWS training support to 66 nonprofit organizations in support of their technology-driven goals.
“At AWS, we are inspired and encouraged by the nonprofit sector’s commitment to address society’s biggest challenges. Each of our IMAGINE Grant winners is taking innovative approaches to scale their mission impact with technology,” said Allyson Fryhoff, managing director of nonprofit and nonprofit health at AWS. “We’re excited to dive deep with these organizations to help them leverage cloud technology to advance their transformative work that is benefiting communities worldwide.”
Tens of thousands of nonprofit organizations worldwide use AWS to increase their impact and advance mission goals. Through multiple programs tailored specifically to the nonprofit community, AWS can enable nonprofits of all sizes to overcome barriers to technology adoption, while enhancing scale, performance, and the capabilities of mission operations.
For more information on the AWS IMAGINE Grant, visit aws.amazon.com/imagine-grant.
About Stop Soldier Suicide
Founded in 2010 by three U.S. Army veterans, Stop Soldier Suicide has evolved into the only national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused solely on reducing the military suicide rate. Its goal is a 40% reduction in that rate no later than 2030.
Through its one-of-a-kind suicide intervention model, innovative use of data insights and technology-first approach, SSS provides consistent, confidential, free care for U.S. veterans and service members at highest risk for suicide. Its Wellness Coordinators are elite behavioral health professionals, each with an advanced degree in at least one area of mental health, including licensed mental health practitioners.
SSS is veteran-led, is not VA or DoD affiliated, and has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.
For more information, visit StopSoldierSuicide.org.