Telehealth will deliver mental health and trauma treatment to rural Nebraska families with the help of $22,000 Fearless Grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) mental health and engineering scholars are developing equipment to provide Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy.

The therapy 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 and delivered at several hospitals throughout Nebraska.   Providing the therapy through telehealth will be a first and could lead to home-based approaches.   The grant will be used to increase the number of trauma-informed mental health therapists in the state too. 

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