Comedian Aparna Nancherla keynote speaker for Compass Health’s 2024 gala

Aparna Nancherla (Photo courtesy Wikimedia)

Compass Health will feature comedian, writer and actor Aparna Nancherla as the keynote speaker for its seventh-annual Building Communities of Hope Gala fundraiser on April 27. At the event, Nancherla will present an original stand-up comedy routine and participate in a moderated discussion. Proceeds from the event support Compass Health’s child, youth and family services.

“We’re excited to have Aparna join us for this year’s BCOH Gala. Through her candor and humor, she is helping to reduce stigma by making mental health an open, approachable conversation,” said Tom Sebastian, president and CEO of Compass Health. “Our annual gala is not only a vital fundraiser; it’s a celebration of the power of mental wellness, and an opportunity for shared experience – making comedy and Aparna the perfect additions to the evening.”

In her stand-up work, Nancherla has been open about her struggles with depression and anxiety, using her signature dry, witty sense of humor to confront her personal mental health challenges. She was a featured comedian in Netflix’s The Standups, and has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Late Late Show with James Corden. Her notable acting credits include The Great North, BoJack Horseman, Abbott Elementary, Bob’s Burgers and many more.

Nancherla’s ability to make others laugh has extended far beyond stand-up stages. In 2023, she authored, Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself and Imposter Syndrome, a collection of essays exploring her experience with depression, imposter syndrome and how she grapples with mental health in her career and daily life.

“I think many more of us struggle with mental health than we think, especially young people,” she said. “It can feel so isolating at that age, which is why I talk candidly about issues like depression and anxiety. I want people who may be going through the same things to know they’re not alone, and that help is available.”

For the gala, Aparna will perform a brief comedy set with an extended Q&A session where attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and hear her thoughts on mental health through her signature sense of humor. The evening will also feature a raffle, silent auction, seated dinner and remarks from other Compass Health representatives.

The gala is an instrumental funding source for Compass Health’s child, youth and family services, including programs that support young people struggling with behavioral health challenges and family chemical dependency issues. Programs to benefit from the gala are:

Child and Family Outpatient Programs, which provide counseling and support services to children, youth and families who may have emotional and/or behavioral health challenges.

Children’s Intensive Services/Wraparound with Intensive Services (WISe), which supports children and their families in the least restrictive environment by honoring the family’s voice, choice, strengths and natural supports.

Camp Outside the Box, a camp specifically designed for children and youth in the WISe program that gives them a chance to participate in fun summer activities while also practicing their social skills with other kids in the program.

The Child Advocacy Program (CAP), a program that provides therapeutic services to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused.

Therapeutic Foster Parenting, a specialized foster care for children who have behavioral health challenges, often resulting from abuse and/or neglect.

Camp Mariposa, a year-round addiction prevention and mentoring program for youth affected by substance use disorder of a family member that offers fun, traditional camp activities combined with education and support sessions led by mental health professionals and trained adult mentors.

The gala is supported by the generosity of many organizations, including Compass Health’s telehealth partner and the event’s Premier sponsor, FRANSiS, a mental wellness company that utilizes text messages and psychology to bring positivity, support and encouragement to subscribers. Sponsorship opportunities are still available for companies looking to connect with like-minded community members invested in mental health.

“We are so excited to gather the community for our seventh annual gala, which promises to be a night filled with joy and insightful conversation, all for a great cause,” said Tom Kozaczynski, chief advancement officer at Compass Health. “Our child, youth, and family programs are vital to so many of our communities, neighbors and their families. We’re grateful for the support and funds we receive to ensure that we can continue providing the highest quality behavioral health care.”

To learn more about Compass Health, visit go directly to the event page to learn more and purchase tickets, visit Tickets for the event close Tuesday, April 16.


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