Boston College forms Bhutanese Community Advisory Board (CAB)

Boston Collge’s Behavioral Research team conducting research among Bhutanese population in Massachusetts formed Bhutanese Community Advisory Board (CAB) on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Springfield Interstate Mart.

Back row from Left: Lal Khadka, Devi Pradhan, Kumar Bhujel, Chandra Bhattarai and Padam Mahat. Front row from Left: Bhumika Giri, Chandra Acharya, and Ganga Pariwar

Back row from Left: Lal Khadka, Devi P. Pradhan, Kumar Bhujel, Chandra Bhattarai and Padam Mahat.
Front row from Left: Bhumika Giri, Chandra Acharya, and Ganga Pariwar

The CAB  supports an ongoing research project on mental health needs among resettled Bhutanese youth and families. The CAB is a range of perspectives and includes both men and women and people of various professional and educational backgrounds to present a collection of diverse viewpoints amongst the representatives and is critical for the functioning of the group as representative of the entire local community.

The insight and guidance provided by the CAB will lend legitimacy to the research and greatly enrich the findings, said Jenna Berent, Program manager.

She further added, “The Community Advisory Board members will serve as an important community voice to provide thoughts and input on the program. During meetings, members will be given updates about the research and may be asked to offer insights into cultural contexts or related issues. CAB members will also bring any community concerns to the researchers’ attention or introduce other relevant topics of discussion. Conversely, members are expected to report back to the community with any important communications from the meetings”.

Jenna provided the overview of Family Strengthening Intervention, roles and responsibilities of CAB members, the role of gender and female participation, and best approach for recruiting new staff. She mentioned that the program has recruited 40 families so far and scaling up to 150 Bhutanese families with Children between the ages 7-17 years.

Similarly, Bhuwan Gautam, community co-investigator for the project read the CAB description translated in Nepali answered CAB’s questions related to the community based participatory approach and touch-based the history university’s partnership with the Bhutanese community.

Kevin Darjee, trained family interventionist provided the overview of what interventionists role how families are selected. He stated that there are 10 modules containing different topics like communication, transportation, parenting skills, etc.

Taran Tiwari, research assistant shared his role with the project. He stated he collects data and forward them to the interventionists. He does baseline assessment among the families.

Meeting CAB

The discussion was very interactive. Devi Pradhan, CAB member stated that he has an interest in what the university is doing to help the community. He shared that there are many incidents the community is facing and hopes that through this research the project’s intervention will tackle those problems. Other CAB member asked about the long-term benefit of this project to the community.

The CAB members include: Chandra Bhattarai, Ganga Pariwar, Devi Prasad Pradhan, Bhumika Giri, Muna Tiwari, Padam Mohat, Lal Khadka, Kumar Bhujel, Gokul Budathoki and Chandra Acharya.

The study is being led by Theresa S. Betancourt, ScD, MA, Professor in Global Practice at the Boston College School of Social Work and Director of the Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA).

The CAB is expected to meet every two months. The next meeting is scheduled for March 31, 2018.