Support Groups to Reduce Stigma Associated with Leprosy

Creating a safe space is key to encouraging community members and families of persons affected by leprosy to participate in group discussions. As demonstrated by Movement for the Reintegration of People Affected by Leprosy (MORHAN) in Brazil, clinic waiting rooms can serve as public spaces for trained facilitators to educate the public on leprosy. On the other hand, a designated, private space is needed for Self-Help Group (SHG) meetings for persons affected. Private spaces allow group members to comfortably discuss both social and clinical issues related to leprosy. This support group model invites participants to ask questions, gain knowledge, identify needs, and reduce stigma.