In the scene, a muppet named Karli tells Elmo that her mother goes to meetings every day where they all sit in a circle and talk about grown up problems.
She goes every day so that she stays healthy, she says. You see, my mom needs help learning to take better care of herself. Karli, who lives with a foster family while her mother is in recovery, then reveals that she also goes to meetings with other children whose parents are going through similar situations.
The episode was conceived in partnership with the Sesame Street in Communities initiative, in response to data published on the sheer number of households that are currently affected by the opioid epidemic ; more than 5 million children under the age of 11 live with a parent who is an addict.
The scene uses clear, careful language that children can understand, and also introduces Karlis friend, a 10-year-old little girl named Salia, who has real world experience of this issue, and explains that addiction is an illness.
"Theres nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective," says Kama Einhorn, Sesame Workshops senior content manager. "Even a parent at their most vulnerable at the worst of their struggle can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose."