Responding to the growing mental health crisis for young children and building on decades of experience developing social-emotional learning content for families, Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, today announced a new initiative focused on the emotional well-being of young children and their families.

Sesame Workshop’s approach will offer strategies to support all families – from celebrating joyful everyday moments and 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 recognising signs of possible emotional distress.

The youngest children are often overlooked in discussions about mental health — but there’s growing evidence that young children are struggling, now more than ever. The crisis has only deepened during the pandemic, indicating that young children especially need support and resources to build their long-term emotional health and well-being. In response to this, Sesame Workshop has committed to a deeper, stronger role in addressing the emotional well-being of young children and their families. 

Beginning with Mental Health Awareness month, Sesame Workshop launches this initiative with Elmo’s Mindfulness Spectacular, a 45-minute Sesame Street and YouTube health and wellness special.

When Elmo is feeling some big feelings about playing a song in front of everyone for the YouTube Talent Show, he asks Abby to cast a magic spell that will get rid of his big feelings.

The spell goes haywire, sending Elmo and Abby on a mindfulness adventure to find her wand pieces and learn techniques to deal with big feelings from favourite stars, including Juanpa Zurita, Jenny Slate, Fitness Marshall, Lauren Riihimaki (LaurDIY), and Marques Brownlee.

In the video I Notice, I Feel, I Can, Elmo and Louie practice three steps to manage big feelings when a DIY project goes wrong;

In The Feelings Garden, Elmo, Louie, Abby, and Maggie learn it’s possible to experience several different feelings at once.