NEURO-LENS Program

CIU in partnership with Destiny Doctors developed the Neuro-lens program in May 2020, this was preceded by a symposium by United Kingdom based health advocacy page; UHIPS. This is basically a digital mental health program developed to support the community and health workers through mental health challenges arising from the covid-19 pandemic and its management protocols. Our students and mental health practitioners; psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers formed a virtual pool of mental health providers. Bearing the fact that social media and internet usage increased in the lockdown, our system focused on identifying the different regions in the countries where our students were trained as mental health providers in that region mediating interactions between those who need the service and the professional psychiatrists. This helped students combine problem based approach with frontline service. It’s undeniable that mental health had been lightly addressed by the society. The uncertainties about the virus, inability to socialize, unemployment, lockdown extensions were all major factors that made a direct blow to community mental health. This brought more challenges like increased anxiety, stress, fear, discrimination and substance abuse. Neuro-lens was able to reach out to over 500 patients. It was noted that in the acute event due to the perceived threat of COVID 19, many individuals developed generalized anxiety disorders, panic which later led to PTSD, then due to loss of very many people and loved ones many had gotten depression. CIU students were trained to make efficient referrals to nearby mental health units. This program has specifically been a success in villages where access to mental health practitioners is almost just a dream.