Sesame Workshop Expands Emotional Well-Being Resource Offerings During Mental Health Awareness Month

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Sesame Workshop, the global impact nonprofit behind Sesame Street, announced the latest expansion of their multi-year commitment to the emotional well-being of young children, building on a long history of support in this critical area. New resources launched on sesame.org during Mental Health Awareness Month expand on existing emotional well-being resources for children and families, providing both everyday tools and strategies centered in helping children process what is happening around them when serious concerns arise.

 

The viral response to Elmo checking in on X to see how people were doing put the pervasiveness of today’s mental health concerns front and center. Through its latest expansion of free emotional well-being resources, available in English and Spanish, Sesame Workshop aims to support children, parents, and providers, using research-based tools and strategies to help them understand their feelings, not only in happy moments but also more complex times. Focusing on nurturing relationships and the mind-body-heart connection can help children develop a strong foundation for their emotional well-being. Being able to understand their emotions and feel validated through different strategies for their minds, bodies, and hearts gives children the opportunity to learn compassion for themselves and others.

 

“The mental health crisis we’re facing today is top of mind for many, yet its impact on young children is often overlooked,” said Sherrie Westin, President and Interim CEO, Sesame Workshop. “We know developing a healthy mind, body, and heart, starts early. The presence of supportive, caring adults in children’s lives makes a world of difference in their emotional well-being.”

 

The new bilingual resources include six videos and a digital storybook, featuring Elmo, The Count, Abby Cadabby, and other favorite Sesame Street friends.

 

In three “Count on This!” videos — “Six-Second Hug,” “10-Second Hum,” “3 Things”—, The Count demonstrates different strategies that children can use to self-soothe their minds and bodies, with help from The Countess and Elmo.

 

“The Ocean Bottle” features Abby Cadabby, who shows Telly an easy way to slow down and focus our senses. An Ocean Bottle is made of simple household objects and allows our bodies and minds time to relax and reset.

 

In “Sofia the Feelings Helper,” Sofia, Sesame Street’s social worker, explains to Elmo and Karli how feelings helpers like herself help children better understand their emotions.

 

“Shout-Out to the Feelings Helpers!” sends a thank you from all your friends at Sesame Street to mental health providers, celebrating the work of “feelings helpers” everywhere.

 

“Thanks, Feelings Helpers” is an interactive storybook that helps children understand the role of “feelings helpers” like therapists, counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other caring adults who support kids through tough times.

 

Other resources include: three animated “Caring for My Brain” videos (“Brain Food,” “Bedtime Meltdown,” and “Twiddlebugs Get Moving”) addressing the connection between mental and physical health with a focus on nutrition, sleep, and movement; four printables, including mental health and wellness activity pages for children; resource guides developed by the American Psychological Association for parents, and providers; and articles to help guide parents on how to support and care for their children’s emotional well-being. An additional five animated videos will launch on sesame.org on June 17th, covering topics from soothing big feelings with Big Bird to learning self-compassion with Rosita.

 

“By showing children how to not only manage big feelings but embrace their power in finding joy in even the toughest times, we can help them build a strong foundation to grow and blossom,” said Jeanette Betancourt, Ed.D., Senior Vice President of U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop. “Mental health providers, or ‘feelings helpers,’ can play an important role guiding families on how to support children’s emotional well-being and helping children understand and cope with overwhelming emotions.”

 

Other activities in support of Mental Health Awareness Month include the launch of Sesame Workshop’s second new public service announcement (PSA) video entitled “Laugh” with the Ad Council on May 8th for their “Love, Your Mind” campaign developed with Huntsman Mental Health Institute. Sesame Workshop will also kick off various activities with Beaches Resorts in support of mental health and in celebration of their partnership’s 20th anniversary, including an all-new Sesame Street Sunrise Yoga experience at all Beaches locations, and two sessions on emotional well-being co-hosted with the Sandals Foundation at the Early Childhood Commission’s Annual Professional Development Institute’s Workshop in Kingston, Jamaica.

 

New books focused on different aspects of emotional well-being and featuring Sesame Street friends will be released later this year, including a sound book from Phoenix International Publications (Sleepy Time for Elmo!) in August, highlighting mindfulness at bedtime, and a word book from Sourcebooks (100 Words from the Street: Words to Grow Smarter, Stronger, & Kinder) to help children build vocabularies and learn important life lessons through vibrantly illustrated examples.

 

Sesame Workshop’s approach to emotional well-being offers strategies that support all families –– from helping children learn the essential skills they need to understand and manage their feelings to supporting parents and community providers in understanding the importance of recognizing signs of possible emotional distress. When children experiencing emotional distress receive support from caring adults in their lives, they’re better able to build a strong foundation for emotional well-being. Resources to help parents and caregivers provide this kind of support can be found at sesame.org/mentalhealth.

 

Leadership support for Sesame Workshop’s emotional well-being initiative has been provided by UnitedHealthcare. Generous support has also been provided by Kenneth Cole, and Kohl’s.

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