What is AWARE (Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment)

If you are interested in participating in the study please call us at (617) 358-5148 or email us at sswAWARE@bu.edu.

What is AWARE ?

The AWARE study seeks to improve the mental and sexual health of Chinese-American, Vietnamese-American or Korean-American young women in a manner that is sensitive to their unique cultural experiences and challenges.  It is comprised of group therapy sessions, as well as encouragement through daily secure text messages, called “AWARE Stories.” This intervention is integrative, holistic, and innovative.  It is being developed by Boston University, School of Social Work and is funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (Funding number: 1R34MH0999-01A1)

AWARE grew out of stories we heard from Asian American young women – diverse individuals who are traversing two worlds (the mainstream American culture & their parents’ culture) while navigating the challenges of young adulthood.  Despite the adversities many of them have faced & their on-going struggles, they are a group of vibrant, complex individuals with significant strengths.  Our work is dedicated to the women we’ve interviewed, as well as all Asian American young women, with the hope that they will grasp their inherent worth & beauty, as well as grow in resilience & empowerment.

Why is AWARE needed?

There is a public health crisis among Asian American women evidenced by spark growth of suicidal behaviors and prevalent depression.
We would like Chinese-American, Vietnamese-American or Korean-American women to participate in a clinical trial to develop full AWARE intervention. These women will help us to develop the AWARE study by participating in a group psychotherapy intervention with other Asian-American women.
The AWARE intervention is specifically for Asian-American women and unlike other psychotherapy models, it will integrate the issues of culture, family, and gender which speak to Asian-American women. The essence of this treatment will highlight the safety, empowerment, and will help participants develop coping skills.

What topics will be covered?

  • Session 1 – Introduction to AWARE
  • Session 2 – Risk, Safety, and Empowerment
  • Session 3 – Coping with disempowering
  • Session 4 – Catch-22
  • Session 5 – Creating New Meaning for the Mind & Body
  • Session 6 – Heaven and earth
  • Session 7 – Coping with Triggers
  • Session 8 – Harmonizing Relationships
  • Session 9 – Give Yourself Grace
  • Session 10 – The New Beginning

To qualify to participate in our study, you must be…

Women who are participating our study will be compensated $20 for each session as well as the evaluation sessions. We also provide transportation costs per session.

AWARE will take place in Boston University School of Social Work, 264 Bay State Rd, Boston, MA 02215 (Accessible by MBTA Green Line towards Boston College BU Central Station).

Sessions will take place in the evening, once a week.

How can I get involved?

If you have any questions that are not addressed in our Frequently Asked Questions section and are interested in participating in the study please call us at (617) 358-5148 or email us at sswaware@bu.edu.  We will screen you over the phone or email to see if you meet the first round of criteria.  If you meet the first round of criteria, we will invite you to come for the evaluation to determine the second round of criteria.  If you meet both criteria, you will be able to participate in the AWARE study.

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