Comedy Night at the State Theatre Helps Children with Mental Illness

Moby with poster

Moby wants to go to the show!

Arlington and Fairfax Counties have close to half a million children under the age of 18 as of 2011.   A significant number have emotional problems or mental illness. NAMI of Northern Virginia offers many free programs to educate and support families who have children that fit in this category. As an all-volunteer organization that hopes to expand to help all families in need, we hold fundraisers to raise the money required to employ a program director and to train volunteers.    To read more about their programs, check
The following article was taken from the National NAMI site. The statistics for children are quite sobering.

Facts on Children’s Mental Health in America

The reports by the U.S. Surgeon General1 and the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health offer great hope to the millions of children and adolescents living with mental illness and their families.2 Through appropriate identification, evaluation, and treatment, children and adolescents living with mental illness can lead productive lives. They can achieve success in school, in work and in family life. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of children with mental disorders fail to be identified, lack access to treatment or supports and thus have a lower quality of life. Stigma persists and millions of young people in this country are left behind.

Prevalence of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders

  • Four million children and adolescents in this country suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school and with peers. Of children ages 9 to 17, 21 percent have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder that causes at least minimal impairment.1
  • Half of all lifetime cases of mental disorders begin by age 14. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays, sometimes decades, between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment. An untreated mental disorder can lead to a more severe, more difficult to treat illness and to the development of co-occurring mental illnesses.3
  • In any given year, only 20 percent of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services.4

Consequences of Untreated Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents


  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 15 to 24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease combined.5 Over 90 percent of children and adolescents who commit suicide have a mental disorder.6
  • In the United States in the year 2002, almost 4,300 young people ages 10 to 24 died by suicide.7
  • States spend nearly $1 billion annually on medical costs associated with completed suicides and suicide attempts by youth up to 20 years of age.8

School Failure

  • Approximately 50% of students age 14 and older who are living with a mental illness drop out of high school. This is the highest dropout rate of any disability group.9

Juvenile and Criminal Justice Involvement

  • Youth with unidentified and untreated mental disorders also tragically end up in jails and prisons. According to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health—the largest ever undertaken—an alarming 65 percent of boys and 75 percent of girls in juvenile detention have at least one mental illness.10 We are incarcerating youth living with mental illness, some as young as eight years old, rather than identifying their conditions early and intervening with appropriate treatment.

Higher Health Care Utilization

  • When children with untreated mental disorders become adults, they use more health care services and incur higher health care costs than other adults. Left untreated, childhood disorders are likely to persist and lead to a downward spiral of school failure, limited or non-existent employment opportunities and poverty in adulthood. No other illnesses harm so many children so seriously.

Early Identification, Evaluation and Treatment are Essential to Recovery and Resiliency

  • Research shows that early identification and intervention can minimize the long-term disability of mental disorders.2
  • Mental disorders in children and adolescents are real and can be effectively treated, especially when identified and treated early.
  • Research has yielded important advances in the development of effective treatment for children and adolescents living with mental illness. Early identification and treatment prevents the loss of critical developmental years that cannot be recovered and helps youth avoid years of unnecessary suffering.11
  • Early and effective mental health treatment can prevent a significant proportion of delinquent and violent youth from future violence and crime.12 It also enables children and adolescents to succeed in school, to develop socially and to fully experience the developmental opportunities of childhood.

July 2010

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Mental Health:  A Report of the Surgeon General.  Rockville,
MD:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999.


Great support for NAMI of Northern Virginia! 



Juja and her gang

Juja and her gang at Perfect Endings Salon have been longtime supporters of NAMI of Northern Virginia.  They are sponsors for this show, and have donated a European Facial for our silent auction!

A couple of videos to tempt you to buy tickets!



Praise for the 2011 NAMI of NoVA Fundraiser at the State Theatre


Jeanne Comeau, Paula Butturini, Kathy Conklin & Jane Condon at last year’s NAMI NoVA Fundraiser at the State Theatre


Last year’s event was wonderful and had some great feedback from guests. Here are some of the comments:




(National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern Virginia)

Produced by Kathleen Tyler Conklin (

Opening act, Author, Paula Butturini, (“Keeping The Feast”

Headliner, Jane Condon, (

Writer of “Janie Condon: Raw & Unchained”

Was great to see your gig and it really hit home in a very important way.

Thanks for sharing your empowering message.

                                                            –Nisha Nachiar Money (USAF Major)

Great show tonight for NAMI Northern VA.

You made me laugh and you made me cry.

                                                            –Sheila Stackpole Rabaut

It was a funny, laugh out loud show, and a moving, poignant show.

I admire your zest for life, your generosity of spirit, and your thoughtful

and intelligent approach to comedy and life.

                                                            –Ricki Helfer (former head of FDIC)

Fantastic performance last night at the NAMI fundraiser.

As always, you hit the mark—and this time—with SUCH balance

between life’s comedies and struggles.

Craig Ferguson sold out Carnegie Hall twice.

Look forward to seeing you there, too.

                                                            –Diane Carroad

Gee, I didn’t know what I was getting into!

You were absolutely spectacular—taking us from high to low to high

again with such wonderful wit and seamless delivery.

As they say, truly awesome.

                                                            –Anne Neal

Spectacular! You were unforgettable in a brilliant piece with so many layers

I cannot keep count. But I was mesmerized, moved, entertained,

taken back, taken forward and taken within.

Thank you for doing this for NAMI.

                                                            –Ellen Gill Miller,

                                                               Stonebridge Associates

It was a sensational event, and you were magnificent.

                                                            –Nell Minow

You were great.

                                                            –Deborah Tannen

Not only very funny but terribly moving.

                                                            –Susan Kinsley

Amazed at your 80 minute brilliant, touching, and hilarious performance.

Now that’s endurance! It doesn’t get any better!! One of the things I loved most about your show is how you quietly and repeatedly honored marriage and

your husband Ken.  It was beautiful. Few people in the entertainment industry do that or even care about it. It was a powerful theme as a backdrop to your humor.

                                                            –Carlie Dixon

Jane, you are wonderful. I saw your Raw and Unchained performance

for NAMI NOVA this week—one of my best evenings in years. I am a

1964 Wellesley graduate and the lady who told you about McLean

at the end of your performance. My friend told me that you reminded her

of herself. I, for different reasons, felt the same way.

I think that connection is the basis of comedic genius.

Again, thank you for not only a funny evening, but a poignant evening.

You are the best and you really connect.

                                                            –Wendy Dawson

It was a pleasure seeing you in action. I admired the craft and flow of your

writing and your heart-wrenching honesty.

                                                            –Sam Horn

I must say I was deeply moved by your performance.

(I didn’t want to be in the pictures ‘cause I thought the tracks of my tears

would show.) And I laughed very much. That’s really hard to accomplish,

but you did it. Go girl!

                                                            –Angela Lancaster

Kathy, Janie, Paula,

Thank you again for all you did to make this night the success it was.

Your stories, Janie and Paula, are so incredibly touching, and so brilliantly told I am thankful for the evening, not only for NAMI’s sake but my own.

Your stories are important for the world to hear.

And you tell them in ways that connect.

Thank you, Kathy, for bringing Janie and Paula

to all of us in Northern Virginia!

Jeanne Comeau (

Executive Director, NAMI NOVA

(National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northern Virginia)

********************************    QWERTYUI`12

Aloha Kathy,

BRAVO!!! What a fabulous evening; the setting performers, food, drinks, and services were first class. I had a wonderful time…NAMI is a much needed and worthwhile program, and kudos to you for supporting this organization.

No doubt the benefits gained from producing last night’s event will impact our generation, and generations to come.

                                                            –Judith Sorenson