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Superman & Lois' Inde Navarrette Gets Candid About The Importance Of Sarah's Mental Health Journey - Exclusive

Time and time again, we see TV and movie characters with mental health conditions depicted as violent, uncontrollable individuals. Therapy and treatment are often demonized or used to make jokes, and both characters and viewers tend to feel shame for something they have no control over. "Superman & Lois" is ditching this toxic narrative with Sarah Cortez (Inde Navarette) and Jordan Kent (Jordan Elsass) working through their mental health struggles positively. By keeping the narrative open, honest, and free from shame, these TV arcs give viewers struggling at home positive role models to look up to in the plight to destigmatize mental health disorders and asking for help.

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Inde Navarette revealed how she feels about Sarah's mental health arc on "Superman & Lois" and offering positive onscreen mental health representation. She also discussed why she thinks her character's struggles with her father is such a relatable arc.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Embracing mental health

On how it felt for Navarrette to get the opportunity to show a positive mental health message for young fans who may be experiencing the same struggles as Sarah, Navarrette said, "Ooh, beautiful question. I was extremely proud of Sarah in that moment. It was amazing to have it come out of my mouth because I feel like at the moment, sometimes people, especially me, can bottle up." As meaningful as these arcs often are to fans, these scenes equally impact the actors who bring them to life. Navarrette added, "To play that through a character has brought strength in myself to say, no, I'm extremely proud of what I've come from and to know where Sarah's come from and to know where she is now and also to know that the audience hasn't necessarily seen all of her mental struggles."

Sarah's struggles impact Navarette's acting choices in ways fans might not even realize. "[There are] definitely other things going on inside of her head that [aren't] pictured a lot. For the audience who does know what that feels like and to see the clues that she leaves, that is due to her mental health," she explained. "I think that message was very strong and directed to the people who, if you know, you know. That was a very important moment for me."

Fraught father-daughter relationships

However, mental health isn't the only relatable situation Sarah goes through during "Superman & Lois." Discussing Sarah's fraught relationship with her father and Navarette thinks it's so relatable, she noted, "Father-daughter relationships are going back since the beginning of time, whether they're good or bad or in the middle or healing. A father and a daughter is such a specific relationship that really shapes both parties." Navarette added, "For the father, being able to understand what it's like and to see the world through their daughter's eyes and also to have the daughter use the father's strength and courage and back to lean on at times if they need to is a very important imperative." 

That's not the experience many daughters have with their father. "When that gets muddled or trampled over, it's really difficult for the father and the daughter to heal and to also heal that part of themselves where they used to connect with the other person because now it's tainted with that emotion," Navarette mused. "I definitely think that this season you'll see them either healing through themselves and their community or healing themselves through each other. I think we just have to really wait and see which way the tables turn."

"Superman & Lois" airs Tuesdays on The CW, with episodes streaming on the website and app the following day.