A team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) mental health and engineering scholars will receive a $22,000 Fearless Grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) Wednesday, May 9, at 1 p.m., UNL East Campus Home Economics Building, Room 121, 1650 North 35th Street, Lincoln, NE.

“We are proud to support this statewide scaling of a therapy method addressing post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression on behalf of our members,” said Marjorie Maas, BCBSNE’s director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “The work being done by the university in this field is very much fearless in nature.”

The grant will support the development of trauma treatment for rural Nebraska families through telehealth.  The therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), uses an eight-phase approach. After a clinician determines which memory to target, eye movements are tracked to simulate Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings.   The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once disturbed them.

The treatment has been successful administered by UNL’s nationally-accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program.  It will be promoted and integrated through outreach efforts to rural health care providers and residents in Boone, Webster and Nuckolls counties.

BCBSNE’s Fearless Grant program is an effort to reach out statewide with grants, sponsorships and community involvement that span BCBSNE’s social responsibility focus areas of health and wellness, human services and education.