Sesame Workshop India launches new emotional health and wellbeing resources for families struggling with the impact of Covid-19

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street – the American educational television series for children – has launched new resources to meet the mental health needs of children and their caregivers as they struggle to adapt to the impact and changes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization was assisted by Viatris, the US-based global healthcare company, in this process.

The new phase includes five new videos featuring popular Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Grover as they learn to deal with big changes, hold moments of mindfulness, take care of themselves and their loved ones and more. In one such video released on Thursday, Grover and Elmo learn about the different ways families say goodbye to kids going back to school and parents going back to work, like hugging each other or doing a “goodbye dance.” special ‘farewell’. Additional videos and resources will be released over the coming months around the world, including the United States, the Middle East, India, South Korea and Turkey.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, families around the world have faced heightened levels of stress among other social and economic challenges. Even before the pandemic, in 2019, the Indian Journal of Psychiatry said that 50 million children in India suffered from mental health issues and 80-90% of them did not seek help. According to a recent UNICEF report, 14% of people aged 15 to 24, or one in seven, report feeling depressed or having little interest in engaging in activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visits to mental health-related emergency rooms in the United States increased by 24% for children aged 5 to 11 and by 31% for those aged 12 to 17 from of April 2020, compared to the year before.

“As members of the global healthcare community, we have seen firsthand the lasting social and emotional effects of the pandemic in every corner of the globe. We first engaged with Sesame Workshop in 2020 at the height of Covid-19 and saw the impact of their resources in helping families through difficult times. In this second phase, we are expanding our support for Sesame Workshop to enable a new set of resources for families globally,” said Lara Ramsburg, Corporate Affairs Manager, Viatris. “Viatris is committed to empowering people everywhere to live healthier lives at every stage of life, regardless of geography or circumstance, and improving health starts from within. We couldn’t be more proud to support Sesame Workshop and continue to help countless people, children, families and caregivers,” she said in a press note.

The new resources, which can be found on the Sesame Workshop India website, are designed to encourage positive conversations between children, caregivers and families about separation anxiety and the effects of isolation and unpredictability, communication of change and uncertainty, alleviation of parental stress in the midst of personal loss and economic stresses, as well as normalization of requests for help.

“We are committed to developing children’s essential socio-emotional and cognitive skills for a rapidly changing world,” said Sonali Khan, Managing Director of Sesame Workshop India. “We are grateful for the generous support of Viatris as we continue to provide resources to help young children manage their big feelings, connect with friends and adults, and take care of themselves and their communities. »

The materials being launched are part of Sesame Workshop’s “Caring for Each Other” initiative, which was created in 2020 in response to the uncertainty families continue to face during the pandemic. To date, the initiative has reached families in more than 100 countries and 41 languages, the note said.

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