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A resilience building collaboration: A social identity empowerment approach to trauma management in leprosy-affected communities.


OBJECTIVES: Communities affected by leprosy encounter multiple traumas and adversities and are some of the poorest in the world. A diagnosis of leprosy can have catastrophic implications for peoples social, health, and economic circumstances. In this article, we describe a reciprocal collaboration with a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that supports people affected by leprosy, trauma, and adversity in rural Nepal. We offer a social identity-based empowerment approach for two reasons. We argue this approach is particularly suited to support those impacted by trauma and its psychological aftermath as those affected are disproportionately from disempowered and marginalized groups. Second, we know that people gain strength from others with whom they share experiences.

METHOD: We offer longitudinal data ( = 71) to support this model of a mutually respectful, participatory, and collaborative approach with the Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT), a social development NGO.

RESULTS: Findings of mediation analysis highlight that where a traumatic experience is highly stigmatized and isolating there is value in a group-based, self-help approach that emphasizes empowerment.

CONCLUSION: A group-based approach that focuses on increasing knowledge and collective social resources is empowering for those affected by leprosy and adversity, because these resources build resilience. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

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Journal Article
Jay S
Winterburn M
Jha K
Kumar Sah A
Choudhary R
Muldoon O