WAVES Programs

Wellness Webinars

In 2021, over 1,300 people attended five webinars we organized, and over 840 people located in all 50 states watched the recordings of the webinars.  The recordings can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Amidst a rise of anti-Asian hate during the pandemic, we organized educational webinars, including a Self-Defense and Empowerment training and an Op-Ed writing workshop titled “Silent No More: We Rise Up and Write Up.” We supported the “One Book One World” book donation drive to Chicago public schools to promote awareness about Asian American history and narratives among children at an early age. The Youth Mental Health webinars conducted in 2020 drew over 3,000 participants from 40-plus states, and close to 90% were parents.

Since 2016, WAVES has served thousands of community members in the U.S. and abroad through “Asian Parents American Children,” a free, open series of mental health educational seminars. Youth Mental Health education sessions were offered at the 2016 and 2018 Chinese American Conventions.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training

In 2021, the UCA WAVES Program (WAVES) sponsored the training of five Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors. WAVES Training Director Elaine Peng, NAMI state trainer and peer support expert in Chinese communities, will direct all future MHFA training. WAVES facilitated four in-person MHFA training sessions in North Carolina, working with North Carolina Central University department of Nursing since 2021. We are currently developing a culturally adapted curriculum, including a translation of the MHFA Adult teaching material into Chinese. We will work on adapting the MHFA Youth curriculum to Chinese in May, with training for all bilingual MHFA certified trainers starting in the summer of 2022.

In the meantime, we have just begun virtual English MHFA training for 2022. WAVES’ first virtual MHFA training session will be on April 16, with four more English sessions planned in May, June, July & August. Registration information will be posted on WAVES’ bilingual social media (@uca.waves on Instagram, @ucaunited on Twitter) – please stay tuned!

Elevating Voices

WAVES Documentary Film Director Changfu Chang is currently producing “Silent War: Asian American Reckoning with Mental Health,” which features four Asian American families and their grappling with mental health issues. You can watch the trailer here.

Parent Education Toolkits

As part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, WAVES Director Jian (Lily) Chen and our professional partners Juliana Chen, Justin Chen, and Weiyang Xie are working on the project “Breaking Silences in the Model Minority: A national intervention to increase mental health awareness and decrease stigma in Asian immigrant families.” As part of this project, the team is currently creating an educational toolkit for Asian American parents, which will focus on youth voices, general mental health knowledge, communication skills, and self-compassion. We are aiming to launch the curriculum through online groups in the summer of 2022 – stay tuned for updates!

Youth Ambassadors

The Youth Ambassadors are advised by mental health experts from our collaborating team of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars, who provide mentoring and guidance regarding program development. The team is currently piloting a weekly online peer support group, and hope to open this space to the public soon for interactive, empathic peer-to-peer engagement.

For questions, please contact WAVES Director Jian (Lily) Chen at lily.chen@ucausa.org.

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 “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.

Community Outreach & Talk Space

UCA WAVES actively collaborates with other organizations and communities. Our main outreach activity is currently “Talk Space,” a peer support organization that is directed by our WAVES Director Jian (Lily) Chen with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars.

Working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) – North Carolina Central University (NCCU), Talk Space student mentors are trained with group facilitation skills, mental health first aid,  self care, and trauma informed care among other topics. The program was featured in local WRAL news here. Students and faculty advisors held movie “Wake Up” screening, are creating public service announcements (PSAs), and helped organize with WAVES ambassadors for events in November 2021. Please see the program video description here.