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 was 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. 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 are covered?

  • Session 1 – Introduction to AWARE
  • Session 2 – ABCDG Parenting & Coping Disempowerment
  • Session 3 – The Catch-22: The Double-Blind
  • Session 4 – Who do I see in the Mirror?: Body Image and Discrimination
  • Session 5 – Romance, Violence, and Everything in Between
  • Session 6 – Sex and Substance Abuse
  • Session 7 – Giving Yourself Grace
  • Session 8 – New Beginnings

We are currently in the process of running our last sessions and analyzing data from previous sessions. If you are interested in learning more about our final results, please follow the links below to our social media pages.

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