After everyone's favorite red Muppet posted on Twitter, "Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?" The simple tweet garnered a rich scrolling list of replies filled with what appeared to be a snapshot — or a sort of list of survey answers — on how a portion of the population is doing when it comes to mental health.
In just around 24 hours the question received over 120 million views and tens of thousands of responses from everybody including journalists, celebrities, other users and businesses. The engagement with the tweet took on a life of its own catching the attention of national and international media.
The character appeared in a nationally televised interviewlabeling the replies as a "trauma dump."
Some of the responses include, "I'm depressed and broke," and "I cannot wait for Friday to come every single week."
"Wow, Elmo is glad he asked ... Elmo loves you," the Muppet replied.
Samantha Maltin leads Sesame Workshop's marketing and brand unit. She said the experience has enforced how they teach viewers "how to talk about their emotions" and other techniques to control them like "belly breathing."
Maltin said they are also focusing on some other more "traumatic" issues that viewers and fans can face.
On Thursday night, as comedians often do, Larry David approached the moment with more of a dark comedic way of shedding light on mental health.
David, not taking it too seriously, said on Seth Meyers' late night talk show (while mocking Elmo's high-pitched voice), "Elmo was, he was going on about mental health and I had to listen to every word. And I was going, 'Oh my God, oh my God, I don't think I can take another second of this.' And so I got off my chair and I approached him and I throttled him!" he said, to some clapping from the live studio audience.
But, mental health is a topic that should be taken seriously in children if you notice "serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions," the CDC says.
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