Mary Endy, daughter of former longtime staff member Beth Endy, is following in her mother’s footsteps – sort of. While Beth helped advance CONCERN’s mission by working in CONCERN’s Human Resources Department as Employee Relations Administrator, Mary is helping CONCERN and others through her filmmaking.
Mary is currently a senior at Kutztown University majoring in Cinema, Television and Media Production. As part of her studies and her interest in mental health issues, Mary decided to host the “Mental Health Awareness Film Festival.” Held on December 5, 2019 at Kutztown University, this festival sought to focus on the issue that is most important to her.
Mary states, “Mental health issues are very important to me, so I created this festival because I want to be a part of the process in raising awareness of it. I’d love to work in the film industry, but all while doing something that matters and makes a difference. That is what makes the film industry important to me.”
This festival was not Mary’s first foray into mental health and filmmaking. In 2018, Mary produced a documentary entitled My Misdiagnosed Life. Then one day last summer Mary said to her friend Miranda, “Hey, do you want to help me raise money and help share awareness for mental health?”
With the further support and encouragement of one of her professors, the Mental Health Awareness Film Festival became a reality. With six films entered into one of four categories, the festival was a success creatively, inspirationally, and financially. In addition to being the festival’s recipient charity, CONCERN also played a prominent role as CONCERN Vice President (Behavioral Health Services) Tanya Jones served as one of the judges.
Mary chose CONCERN as her charity of choice, not only because of her mother and literally growing-up hearing about CONCERN, but because CONCERN was local and CONCERN offered the type of services (behavioral health) in which the festival was focusing.
Mary added, “I just want to say that nobody is ever alone and that there’s always someone or someplace you can call. Nobody should battle their minds alone. Life can be very fragile. We just have to take life one step at a time, big or small. Just reach out there’s always someone to talk to.”
Thank you Mary, and we hope this is the first of many successful Mental Health Awareness Film Festivals.