Elmo and Big Bird have an important message for young children and their families: prioritize your mental health and wellbeing.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization that produces Sesame Streetrecently announced a collaborative, multiplatform initiative to promote mindfulness among kids.

Included in this effort is a PSA campaign supporting The Ad Council, podcast episodes featuring Dr. Laurie Santos and The Happiness Lab, research-based behavioral health resources for parents and caregivers, as well as the return of the Goodnight, World! podcast with Headspace.

The campaign kicked off on Wednesday with Elmo’s Mindfulness Spectacular, a 45-minute special produced by Sesame Street and YouTube. As of Thursday morning, the special has garnered more than 213,000 views on the platform. 

The effort comes at the start of Mental Health Awareness Month and emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s emotional state and seeking help if needed. Sesame Workshop cited the American Academy of Pediatrics’ declaration of a mental health emergency among children last year as a prompt for focusing more content on addressing behavioral issues.

These key lessons are being delivered to kids by well-known characters from the iconic series, but also seek to encompass the entire family as well.

“We at Sesame hold a vision of a world in which all children can flourish and feel the joyfulness of life and do so with appreciation for their own mental health and well-being,” said Sherrie Westin, president of Sesame Workshop, in a statement. “Through the power of our beloved characters and proven resources, we’re raising awareness about the importance of nurturing children’s emotional well-being and lessening the stigma associated with seeking support for children’s mental health.”

The PSA component is part of The Ad Council’s ongoing Sound it Out campaign, which features Elmo, his dad and several other friends, including Big Bird, singing the original song “Me & My Grown-Up.”

This also isn’t Elmo’s first time starring in a health-related PSA. Last June, Elmo received his first COVID-19 shot after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention greenlit jabs for kids under the age of five.

On the podcast front, The Happiness Lab is airing a special episode this spring to share strategies that parents and caregivers can use to help both themselves and their children to feel happier. In the fall, The Happiness Lab will also air a three-episode series to revisit these strategies.

The organization’s Goodnight, World! podcast, produced in collaboration with Headspace, will also return this summer to help kids transition from activity time to nap time or bedtime. Sesame Workshop, Headspace and Penguin Random House also partnered on a six-book series based on the “Monster Meditation” video series on Sesame Street’s YouTube channel.

Additionally, on the publishing side, Sesame Workshop said it has signed a partnership with Mayo Clinic Press Kids to create content focused on emotional wellbeing, with a book launch slated for the fall of 2024.

Meanwhile, the additional educational resources for parents, providers and caregivers can be found on Sesame Workshop’s website. This resource hub is dedicated to offering bilingual materials and videos that underscore “the benefits of nurturing relationships and the tools to do so.”

For a March 2024 article about Sesame Street’s mental health PSA, click here.