Psychosocial Capacity Building in New York: Building Resiliency with Construction Workers Assigned to Ground Zero after 9/11Articles and Chapters
Abstract[Excerpt] Psychosocial capacity building, which is a more common approach in response to disasters outside of Western Europe and the U.S., was, in part, a reaction against the perceived “traumatization” and pathologizing of disaster survivors, as well as the over-emphasis on the individual at the expense of the collectivity and community (Ager, 1997; IASC, 2007; Kleinman & Cohen, 1997; Miller, in press; Mollica, 2006; Strang & Ager, 2003; Summerfield 1995; 2000; Wessels, 1999; Wessels & Monteiro, 2006). The accent with psychosocial capacity building is equally on the social as well as the psychological. Some of the tenets of this approach are: an emphasis on families, groups and communities; focusing on strengths, capacities and sources of resiliency; a wariness of the medicalization of social reactions to abnormal situations; centralizing culture and its impact on meaning making after a disaster, expression of affect and its implications for healing; using local, indigenous, often non-professional people as the designers and implementers of projects; supporting and reconstructing mutual aid and self-help groups; taking into account socio-cultural variables such as race, class, and gender when considering the impact of a disaster and how to respond to it. Although there are clearly different points of emphasis, a mental health approach and psychosocial capacity building approach are not mutually exclusive and can be combined for effective, multi-systemic interventions to respond to disasters. There were elements of both approaches in the project described in this paper.
Citation InformationJoshua Miller, Jeffrey Grabelsky and K. C. Wagner. "Psychosocial Capacity Building in New York: Building Resiliency with Construction Workers Assigned to Ground Zero after 9/11" (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jeffrey_grabelsky/17/