"What matters is that you're actually doing okay."

By Arielle Tschinkel
September 11, 2020
Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

If isolation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led you to struggle with your mental health, Sarah Jessica Parker wants you to know you're not alone.

In a new PSA about mental health titled Inside & Outwards, SJP lends her voice as narrator. Created in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of New York City and the New York City Ballet, the five-minute film explores the mental health issues that so many are experiencing right now as a result of the global pandemic. (Related: How to Deal with Health Anxiety During COVID-19, and Beyond)

Of course, Parker is no stranger to voiceover work; she famously narrated all six seasons of her hit show, Sex and the City. Her latest project, however, which debuted on September 10 for World Suicide Prevention Day, highlights the feelings of isolation and loneliness that have emerged during the pandemic. (Here are some tips for dealing with loneliness if you're self-isolated right now.)

Set to Parker's comforting narration and a moving musical score, the short film shows several different people going through the motions of life in quarantine. Some are solemn on the couch, deep in thought, or staring into the glow of a smartphone in the middle of the night. Others are doing glam hair and makeup, trying new baking projects, or posting dance videos online.

"It seems like everyone is doing more than you — using their free time to get ahead when you find it hard enough just to get out of bed," narrates SJP. "You have your health, your home, but someone next to you would be nice. (Related: Why It's Okay to Enjoy Quarantine Sometimes — and How to Stop Feeling Guilty for It)

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Parker said she hopes the PSA can help facilitate much-needed conversations about mental health right now. "I'm not an expert on mental health but I'm thrilled that the filmmakers partnered with NAMI," she said. "They are extraordinary. They are changing lives and taking care of countless people. And I feel like more and more people are sharing their stories."

Speaking more about the PSA, Parker said she feels that there's a disconnect between the ways in which people discuss physical illness and mental illness — something she hopes Inside & Outwards can help change.

"We talk about illness in this country, and we support by volunteering, and we run for cancer. I think mental health is an illness that, for many years, we haven't thought of in the same way," Parker told EW. "So I'm feeling comforted and very excited that we are talking about it more openly. Let's talk about it more. There isn't a person I know that isn't affected by mental illness, whether it's through a family member or through a dear friend or a loved one. The more people who are brave enough to share their story, the better off we all are." (Related: Bebe Rexha Teamed Up with a Mental Health Expert to Offer Advice About Coronavirus Anxiety)

Though every person's circumstances are different, Inside & Outwards is a reminder that however you're doing or feeling during the pandemic, you're doing just fine — and you can thank yourself for taking care of, well, you right now.

"When the day comes to a close, and you clap for all the heroes, don't forget there's one more person you need to thank," narrates SJP at the end of the PSA. "The one who's been there all along. The one who's stronger than they knew. The one who's grown through the pain and madness. You. So let me be the first to say it: Thank you for making me feel okay alone."


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