COLORADO SPRINGS (Apr. 29, 2009). BlueSun, Inc. has finalized an agreement with the University of Colorado to license the Journey to Disaster Recovery™ and Journey to Trauma Recovery™ programs developed by Dr. Charles Benight and his collaborators at the Trauma, Health, and Hazards Center and the Computer Science Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. “The mission at BlueSun, Inc. is to harness the capabilities of technology and psychological science to help empower people in dealing with serious life experiences,” explains Benight. “We envision working with a host of organizations who are responsible for the welfare of people facing traumatic or life changing events.”
The Journey to Recovery™ websites are ideal for disaster recovery situations where traumatized individuals have little access to recovery assistance due to environmental logistics – for example, when there are few mental health providers available – and in situations where public movement is restricted like a pandemic influenza outbreak, or when people fear being labeled because they are accessing mental health services. The Journey to Recovery websites are anonymous, operate 24 hours a day, and can be accessed most anywhere in the world.
The Journey to Recovery™ websites can help people from all walks of life including the general public, emergency services workers, hospital personnel, school personnel, and mental and physical health providers. The customizable nature of the Journey websites provides a unique opportunity to generate an adaptable site that is culturally relevant to different users. Early in 2005, Dr. Benight joined Dr. Josef Ruzek from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress at the Veterans Administration to collaborate on an interactive website for trauma survivors. Through initial seed money from the Network Information and Space Security Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, an initial prototype was developed.
BlueSun, Inc. was founded by Dr. Benight in 2008 to commercialize the program. The company has received a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop the program for commercial deployment, and the company has also received approximately $90,000 in matching funds from the State of Colorado for business development purposes, via the Colorado Early-State Bioscience company Grant program. “The Journey to Recovery program is built on leading edge research on trauma and mental health,” says Kate Tallman, Director of Technology Transfer for CU-Boulder and CU-Colorado Springs. “The Colorado Early-State Bioscience Company Grant funds will allow BlueSun to deliver it as a professional-grade service to anyone recovering from trauma, including returning veterans and first responders.”
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