The Network for Professional Ed at BUSSW Offers New AWARE Online Certificate Developed by Prof. Hahm to Support Mental Health in Asian American Women

The AWARE program treats and prevents mental health challenges affecting Asian American women.

High rates of depression and a high proportion of deaths by suicide among Asian American women call for new interventions. Despite of high depression and suicidal behaviors, Asian Americans (AA) are the least likely racial group to seek mental health services, with 80% of cases within this population going untreated. Research from Prof. Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm from BU School of Social Work (BUSSW) and colleagues has shown that Asian American (AA) women face specific mental health challenges that are often overlooked by practitioners. This research led to the Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment (AWARE) Intervention, a groundbreaking group psychotherapy treatment that is designed to treat and prevent mental health problems and health risk behaviors among AA women. The AWARE intervention is now the basis for an innovative online certificate offered through the Network for Professional Education at BUSSW.

The AWARE certificate is grounded in Prof. Hahm’s research, part of a 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), in which she interviewed over 1000 AA women to learn about their unique challenges around family dynamics, gender roles, and racial discrimination. This online program trains social workers, mental health counselors, advisors, and educational professionals in the culturally-grounded skills necessary to support and empower AA women to seek out and access care.

“Our program is a major step towards improving the well-being of Asian American women. It integrates the variety of cultural, familial, and racial factors that affect Asian women, and brings their experiences front and center,” says Prof. Hahm.

Prof. Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm partnered with Prof. Bronwyn Keefe, assistant dean of Workforce and Professional Development for BUSSW, to bring the AWARE certificate program online, making the course available to a wide audience. Over a 10-hour series of four self-paced courses (10 Continuing Education Units), participants will learn to:

  • Understand the unique and multidimensional challenges that affect the mental health of Asian American women
  • Confidently lead an AWARE group session using the provided leader’s guide
  • Empower Asian American women to unlock their full potential and have healthy and productive lives

”The AWARE training program demonstrates BUSSW’s commitment to workforce development in key practice areas,” says Keefe. “This partnership highlights our goal to increase professional development opportunities across a wide array of topics and populations – which is critical for expanding the knowledge and skills of health and social service practitioners today.”

Register for the AWARE Certificate Program

Learn More About Prof. Hahm’s Research