Me Time, Wellness

Elmo Is Still Our Friend

In case you missed it, in late January, everyone’s favorite, little red buddy popped onto X and decided to tweet (or X..? How do we even say that anymore?) this:

Elmo has always presented himself as an eternal optimist, spreading positivity and teaching kindness to generations of children worldwide. While many of the responses were somewhat normal, we’re willing to bet Elmo didn’t expect to hear an outpouring of honesty from thousands of Gen Z’ers. And it nearly broke him.

This seemingly light-hearted question opened the floodgates to nearly 200 million replies, and while it was cause for a bit of comedic entertainment, it also helped spark a huge conversation about mental health. From personal traumas to worldly qualms, many users dumped their dark thoughts onto Elmo and met him with other depressing and just sad responses. Many celebrity A-listers and name-brand corporations also chimed in, which only put more stress on the forever 3 ½-year-old Muppet. 

According to a report done by KFF and CNN, 90% of Americans feel we, as a country, are in a mental health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge trigger for many Americans, but that’s not when the mental health crisis started, just where it catapulted. Most people highlight the opioid epidemic, mental health issues among children and teenagers, and severe mental illnesses as being at crisis level now. KFF did numerous polls, and one even reported that about ⅓ of American adults under 30 described their mental health as “only fair” and “poor.”

This kind of data can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you are someone who has or is currently struggling with mental health issues. You may feel alone and scared, but if this data has proved anything, it’s that you are certainly not alone. And if Elmo has taught us anything, it’s that he will always be our friend. 

We should make it a habit to check in on our friends and family regularly, just like Elmo does. You never know who might be going through a tough time and need our support. If you are unsure of how to handle such a scenario or are struggling with mental health issues yourself, then read on to find information about local mental health resources and national hotlines that can help you get the support you need.


The Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center

COPE Crisis Line (Crisis Counseling, Suicide Prevention, & Referral Services)

CrescentCare (Behavioral Health Challenges)

Children’s Hospital New Orleans Psychiatry Services

Florida Parishes Human Services Authority

Metro Center for Women and Children

Metropolitan Human Services District (24/7) Mobile Crisis Support

Naloxone Distribution

Naloxone is a life-saving medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. In 2021, the NOHD partnered with local fire departments to provide Narcan for public distribution. Call (504) 434-0909 for more information or contact these fire stations directly:

NAMI New Orleans (Mental Illness)

New Orleans Family Justice Center (for DV & SA)

Odyssey House Louisiana (Addiction Treatment)

Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR)


ChildHelp National Child Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Youth Crisis Hotline

Trevor Text for LGBTQ

Everyone can be affected by mental illness, no matter their age. If you think your child is struggling, or you need help explaining the concept and checking in on them, Elmo and friends have also provided a page of resource videos explaining and celebrating the power of caring relationships in building children’s emotional well-being.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Christina Vittas, Sesame Workshop’s social media manager and operator of Elmo’s personal X account, stated, “Elmo did that. And if a three-and-a-half-year-old Muppet from Sesame Street can do that, why not any one of us, too?”

Even if you simply share this article with a friend, save it for yourself, or take the extra step of saving the important numbers in your phone, you are making a significant difference in the life of someone who is struggling with a mental illness. Let’s all take a cue from Elmo’s character and try to spread more kindness and positivity in the world.


American Psychological Association

Children’s Hospital New Orleans

City of New Orleans (.gov)


Loyola University New Orleans

NAMI New Orleans


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