Submitted by Kimberly-Clark Corporation
Parents and caregivers of NICU babies are facing escalating mental health challenges due to virus infection fears, additional financial concerns, limitations on when they can visit their baby in the NICU, and being socially isolated from their support system of family and friends.
Which is why Hand to Hold, a nonprofit organization for NICU families, recently the launched virtual support groups for NICU families to address this challenge. Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies® brand is serving as the national sponsor of the new program, modeled on Hand to Hold’s in-person and in-hospital support groups.
“Our first ever virtual support group last week welcomed parents from across the country, and for most, it was the first time they’d been able to interact with other NICU families or any type of peer support,” said Kelli Kelley, NICU parent and founder/CEO of Hand to Hold. “It was encouraging to see that our online groups could provide NICU families with a virtual ‘hand to hold’ and emotional support during the COVID-19 crisis.”
The virtual services are available free of charge to all families and caregivers of NICU babies and available via live Zoom conference calls, led by certified peer support specialists.
The program provides a safe, caring space for parents to share personal experiences and feelings, discuss coping strategies, and find comfort and support during the COVID-19 crisis and the recovery that follows.
Hand to Hold will offer multiple groups each week in English and Spanish, and parents can register for groups on the organization’s website, where dates and times are listed. Families and caregivers can also access podcasts, including new episodes to address the emotional and mental health challenges associated with COVID-19.
“We are honored to partner with Hand to Hold as they provide this lifeline of virtual care for parents and nurses, especially as their access to support may be limited during the current health crisis,” said Rebecca Dunphey, President of Baby and Childcare, Kimberly-Clark North America, “We have Huggies hospital partners and NICUs top of mind right now, and ensuring they have Huggies products and services, like these virtual support groups, available to help care for their tiniest patients is a priority and privilege.”
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries. Every day, 1.3 billion people--nearly a quarter of the world's population--trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 134-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com.
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