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Veteran Suicide Prevention Program to launch at 6th Annual Veterans Awards

June 22, 2021


Unexpected Voices: Veterans Suicide Prevention Program

To Launch at 6th Annual Veterans Awards

Washington, D.C.- Academy of United States Veterans (AUSV) proudly announces the launch of their suicide prevention program, Unexpected Voices, at the 6th Annual Veterans Awards (VETTYS). The VETTYS ceremony has honored excellence in public service since 2015. This year’s presentation of the Annual Veterans Awards will be held on Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.


The Unexpected Voices program seeks to bring about actionable change to the barriers that veterans face in accessing mental health care. These barriers and consequent lack of access to mental health care can often contribute to veteran suicide. To bring about the change, Unexpected Voices provides a louder voice for our veterans by cultivating relationships with influential members of the community to raise the profile of these issues to the national media and public attention. In doing so, the attention of Congress will be ensured as their constituents and the national media call for action to address the deficiencies present in the current Mental Health Care system for veterans that far too often result in veteran suicide.

Veteran suicide in this country occurs at a rate one and a half times that which occurs in the general population, with an average of twenty veterans losing their lives to suicide a day. Veterans in our country face many institutional and societal barriers to access and receive adequate care for their mental health. Veterans have long struggled to overcome the burdensome, complicated, and bureaucratic processes required to receive benefits from the Veterans Administration. Furthermore, veterans must overcome the societal stigmas that surround mental health which create unimaginable and subsequent harmful consequences. Due to these failures, too many veterans are unable to access the care they need to live dignified, fulfilling lives in comparison to the civilians in the country they have defended.

By providing a voice to the voiceless, Unexpected Voices seek to end the ultimate result of failed mental health care.

“The silent screams within continue internally heard only by the one held captive. It takes a village to free the person from captivity, and we at AUSV plan on doing just that”, says Assal Ravandi, President and CEO of Academy United States Veterans.


The 6th Annual Veterans Awards will focus solely on mental health in America. The Veterans Awards will recognize exceptional veteran organizations who have been nominated by the community. Their extraordinary impact in different categories relating to mental health is invaluable to AUSV’s mission of community empowerment. Those attending will be members and honored guests of AUSV, along with influential members of our society. AUSV’s mission is to raise awareness about the failures of our nation’s resources when it comes to mental health solutions, and highlight the obstacles our veterans face when seeking the help they were promised.


Academy of United States Veterans Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization known for founding the Annual Veterans Awards. AUSV believes that collaborative communities can be a vehicle to bring real opportunities for society. By encouraging creativity in this cooperative environment, AUSV hopes to create a new narrative for our veterans and for all Americans. For more information, visit


Katie Katz

Director of Public Relations

and External Affairs

(O) 703.224.4431

(M) 702.574.6700

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