OHIO — According to the World Economic Forum, half of all mental illnesses start before the age of 14.

That's why Nationwide Children's Hospital in partnership with GO Noodle launched a new social emotional learning series in an effort to help parents and kids work through emotions and mental health challenges.

What You Need To Know

  • Nationwide Children's Hospital and GO Noodle launched a new social, emotional, learning series called The Mooderators
  • According to the CDC, one in five kids is living with significant mental health concerns

Dr. Ariana Hoet, the clinical director for On Our Sleeves and a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said “Mooderators writers is all about talking to kids about how they feel emotions in their bodies, and then what to do about it. So we have six videos that talk about sadness, excitement, anger, worry and then also they talk about gratefulness and caring because we know those are ways to keep our mental health.”

Hoet said the biggest struggle she’s seen in her clinical practice with kids and how they express their emotions.

“Sometimes [they] don't have the language to identify or tell us how they're feeling, and that's why the Mooderators is so important because it gives them that language, and it tells them hey, if I'm feeling maybe like a tummy ache, for example, that may mean I'm feeling nervous. And so kids can then identify half the language to express and come to us to share what they're feeling," she said.

Hoet acknowledged since the pandemic started, it created a lot of stressful situations for everyone, including children. She said, for kids, “If they don't know how to express that to others or feel like they can't because of the stigma behind mental health sometimes, they're gonna keep it inside, and maybe we find out when it's a little bit late when it has gotten to a place where it's really impairing.”

This is why Hoet indicated The Mooderators is so important, as it’s helping kids to open up about their emotions with the help of activities. It’s not just something for parents and caregivers to work through with kids, but teachers can get curriculums to use to talk to children about these emotions and how to cope.

Once people have had a chance to interact with the series for one year or more, medical professionals hope to assess it to see just how well it’s working and what kind of impact it’s making.