Chad Cochran: I Didn't Want To Tell You
As a fairly new photographer in the music and concert genre, I find myself idolizing a handful of more prominent artists in the business. One of those artists is Chad Cochran, also known as Cowtown Chad. His work has been featured in publications such as Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, Guitar Player Magazine, and he has a portion of his concert photography archived in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While those are amazing feats, his current project may be the most important, not only to the musicians that are being featured, and to himself, but also to society as a whole.
Mental health has been ignored largely by society in the past. A crutch that hides in the shadows and has been too taboo to discuss with even the closest of friends and family. Seeking help has been frowned upon, putting people in situations to try and forgo the battle all alone. Knowing the high incidence of mental health challenges being brought to the forefront in today’s society, there is a very good chance that you, a family member, friend, coworker, etc.… has some-sort of mental illness. Now is the time for us as a society, to start acknowledging and addressing the elephant in the room. Chad Cochran is helping do just that with his series to be featured in The Fall Wellness issue of No Depression, called “I Didn’t Want To Tell You.” The objective of the project was to marry his portrait work with musicians to further the necessary conversation around mental health.
Portraits by Cowtown Chad
“It’s been a journey watching this grow from an idea in 2015 to being published today. My kids asked me why I did this article and I said, Because in America, if you were to hurt your ankle, you’d go see a doctor, but if something isn’t quite right with your brain, society has created a stigma which leads people to believe they are weak or there is some type of shame associated with seeking mental health. I want people to know we are all in this together. People struggle and that’s okay. There is help available and nobody should feel ashamed or scared or weak for seeking to get better. Again, thank you for letting me do this and sharing your stories. Let’s keep these conversations going and help one another."
The No Depression article will feature musicians Steve Poltz, John Paul White, Sarah Shook, Jaimee Harris, Lydia Loveless, and Elizabeth Cook. However, Chad does not want this series to end here. He would like to collaborate with other artists and publications who feel strongly about this topic. If you have any suggestions, feel free to reach out! “I feel strongly that this could be a book, but I just know record labels and not any book publishers!” Go pick up your copy of The Fall Wellness issue of No Depression and help support this effort. It is important to keep the notes moving on this journey to open up conversations about mental health awareness.
Order The Fall Wellness Issue of No Depression:
Mental Health National Helpline:
Cover Photo Courtesy of Michelle Waters: