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A Healthier You

‘Sesame Street’ Characters Are Teaching Kids How To Deal With Trauma


In a powerful new initiative launched by the creators of “Sesame Street,” the show’s beloved Muppets are teaching kids how to cope with trauma and stress.

Rosita shows how punching a pillow can help relieve pent-up frustration, and the Count describes how counting helps calm his nerves. Big Bird is seen in one video learning to use his imagination to find his “safe place,” and Elmo shares how he builds blanket forts to seek solace when he’s scared.  

The video series is part of a wider Sesame Workshop initiative ― which includes free online reading materials, games and activities in both Spanish and English ― aimed at equipping children, caregivers and social workers with tools to help kids overcome traumatic experiences.

The project was launched on Friday, days after the massacre in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. It was released the same day that new federal survey was published showing how almost half of all American children under age 18 have encountered at least one adverse childhood experience, or ACE, in their lifetime. ACEs are defined as stressful or traumatic events, and can include physical or emotional violence, poverty, natural disasters and terrorism. 

ACEs have been linked to “risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC describes early experiences of children as “an important public health issue.”

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