WAVES – Wellness. Advocacy. Voices. Education. Support

Wellness. Advocacy. Voices. Education. Support

Youth mental health is one of the most urgent issues for the Chinese American community members today. Stigma against mental illness, social isolation, cultural expectations, identity issues, low mental health literacy, and lack of available. Chinese-speaking or culturally sensitive mental health professionals – all of these factors contribute to the problem. Chinese/Asian American youth are suffering “silently” with mental illness and emotional stress. We are here to stand together and work towards Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education, and Support (WAVES).

Vision

A Supportive and Engaging Community that Fosters Healthy and Holistic Development of Our Youths

Mission

  • Raise Awareness of Cultural Identity and Mental Health Challenges Young Asian Americans
  • Face due to familial, cultural, and societal factors
  • Develop Community Support and Resources for Youth Mental Health
  • Promote Cultural Sensitivity to Psychological Well-Being and Responses
  • Encourage Civic Engagement in Public Policies to Address Mental Health Issues

WAVES Team Members

WAVES Professional Partners

WAVES Programs

Asian Parents American Children Conferences and Webinar Series

In order to meet the urgent needs of our community, UCA WAVES has worked with its chapters and partners to address mental health issues facing the community and organize 12 youth mental conferences in Chicago (2), Minnesota (1), Wisconsin (2), Ohio (3), Nevada(1), San Francisco (1), and at the 2016 and 2018 Chinese American Conventions (2) in Washington, DC. Since Feb 2021, UCA organized or co-organized 8 webinars addressing issues related to mental health and racism on two college campuses, as well as 6 youth mental health webinars in response suicide increased mental stress related the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training

Congrats to three members of the WAVES team, who finished the 3-day training and became certified MHFA instructors in January & February 2021! Soon, we will have two instructors for Youth MHFA and two for Adult MHFA. For more information on MHFA, please visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org. We plan to start training selected community members in the Spring 2021, so stay tuned!

Youth Peer-to-Peer Support Groups

WAVES will soon organize peer-to-peer support groups for high-school youth, with a mission to destigmatize mental health issues through genuine connection, support, and empowerment. Led by UCA Youth Ambassadors and advised by the UCA/RWJF Clinical Scholars, the program will be a series of online meetings to create a space for open, interactive, and empathic peer-to-peer engagement.

Stay tuned for more planning updates and opportunities to sign up!

Parent Peer-to-Peer Support Groups

WAVES will soon host peer-to-peer support groups for parents, with four goals: to 1) provide a safe space to share knowledge and experiences of youth mental health; 2) provide emotional support among the participants; 3) build a community of practices for effective parent-child communications, and; 4) help develop, pilot, evaluate, and disseminate Clinical Scholars educational toolkits to achieve the overarching goal of increasing Mental Health knowledge and decreasing stigma in the Chinese American community.

We are currently recruiting organizers for the Parent Peer Support Groups. Guided by our expert team of UCA/RWJF Clinical Scholars, parent leaders will facilitate regular meetings. Stay tuned for more planning updates and invitations to join!

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar Programs

Breaking Silences in the Model Minority: A national intervention to increase mental health awareness and decrease stigma in Asian immigrant families

Announcement: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Programs

UCA is proud to announce members of its Youth Mental Health Initiative have been selected to participate in the 2020-2023 cohort of Clinical Scholar Fellows, part of the RWJF Leadership Program

UCA WAVES “Received fundings from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar for two programs, “Breaking Silences in the Model Minority: A national intervention to increase mental health awareness and decrease stigma in Asian immigrant families. Check out the project description here.

Nursing Student Peer Support Program

Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars and UCA, we are helping develop a peer mentoring program at North Carolina Central University. We have provided Mental Health First Aid and other related training to 6 nursing students and organized peer support groups. Our UCA Clinical Scholars recently received additional funding during COVID-19 for our projects, including this one. We are cheering on the NCCU program participants!