Hand to Hold, the Austin-based nonprofit organization that helps parents and caregivers of babies who have been in the neonatal intensive care unit, often helps support its clients through one-on-one mentoring and in-person support groups in hospitals.


Now during the coronavirus pandemic, when families are already feeling the stress of new rules such as only one visitor at a time with a pediatric patient in a hospital, Hand to Hold is offering virtual support groups in both English and Spanish.


"NICU families 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," Kelli Kelley, NICU parent and founder and CEO of Hand to Hold, said in a press release. "Our online support groups are designed to provide NICU families with a virtual ‘hand to hold’ and emotional support during the COVID-19 crisis."


These groups are sponsored by Huggies and will be free to participants.


Parents and caregivers can register at the Hand to Hold website: https://handtohold.org/nicu-family-support/nicu-family-support-groups/


Hand to Hold also has private Facebook Groups and podcasts.