The NICU journey can be an overwhelming experience for parents and sometimes, having a relationship with a peer who is intimately familiar with the path you are walking can provide the hope that you need.
Our One-on-One Mentoring Program pairs current NICU families with a mentor that provides support and guidance during and after the NICU experience. We work to match families requesting a mentor with a NICU graduate family who had a child born at the same gestational age and had a similar diagnosis. The goal is to provide NICU families with someone they can talk to and be encouraged by when things are difficult. To request a mentor, view our One-on-One Mentoring Program page and please fill out our contact form.
To be eligible to become a One-on-One Mentor you must have been out of the NICU for a minimum of 2 years. If you have been out of the NICU for at least 2 years please fill out our online mentor application. Once we receive your application, you will be contacted in order to set-up a personal interview. After that, we will be in touch to schedule you for our specialized training program designed for peer mentors. Anyone wishing to be a One-on-One Mentor for NICU Helping Hands must complete this training program. Training sessions are held in the fall and the spring and will be posted on our website calendar as well as our Facebook page.
What Mentoring IS:
- The mentoring experience is designed to provide current NICU families with a helpful resource who can provide support in challenging times, share their own NICU experiences, or assist families in identifying community resources and support.
- NICU Helping Hands has seen time and time again the power of a friend in the midst of the NICU experience…especially a friend who has been through the NICU themselves. Our mentors are available to be a friend, a supporter, an encourager, or an advocate during this journey.
- Our mentor program is one of the many resources available through NICU Helping Hands. Mentors can help point you towards NICU Moms CONNECT activities, support groups, activities for dads and much more.
What Mentoring IS NOT:
- Mentors are not intended to be your source of medical information. Our mentors are not a replacement for your baby’s medical team. They can share their own experiences and how they handled the emotional challenges of their own medical crises but they aren’t a substitute for your baby’s doctor. NICU Helping Hands encourages families to follow up with their baby’s doctor, nurse or other healthcare providers for answers to medical questions.
- A mentor is not a mental health professional but they may encourage you to speak with a professional if necessary. NICU Helping Hands staff and your mentor have access to resources that can assist you with anxiety, grief, stress, depression and other feelings you may be experiencing.
- Requesting a mentor does not commit you to the relationship forever and you are free to end your mentoring experience at any time. Reassignment to a new mentor is also available upon request.