I Didn’t Want To Tell You: Normalizing the Conversation Around Mental Health

A series of open public dialogues in a salon-style setting provided as a community collaboration between WOMPA, Red Dirt Relief Fund, Low Road Merch Co., Heartfield Counseling, Heirloom Rustic Ales, TyPros and Mood Brue. These free events are open to anyone seeking safe, open dialogue around mental health with resources and tools you can take with you.

“I Didn’t Want To Tell You” started as a project of Columbus, Ohio photographer Chad Cochran in which singer/songwriters and touring music industry individuals would share a story about their relationships, and at times struggles with mental health with an accompanying portrait. The series has been featured in national media like No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music, and last year Chad was a featured guest speaking about his work at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah.

That format of open candor and sharing about a subject that is often difficult to discuss has evolved into a live session, with four upcoming events, featuring four different community leaders. Each session will have a different focus, specific to the featured guests background and experience with mental health. The sessions will also feature an optional before and after portrait to help document the series and its impact on those in attendance. There will be mental health and wellness professionals onsite to offer further assistance in finding the right resources for individuals seeking one on one help as well. 


April 4, 2024: Being an Ambivert

5:30-6:30pm, WOMPA, 3306 Charles Page Blvd.

Mary Beth Babcock was named 2011 Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Magazine for her advocacy of arts across the state, and now champions local development along Route 66 from her headquarters at Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios. She will share her experience as an ambivert: a person who has features of both an introvert (someone who prefers to spend time alone) and an extrovert (someone who prefers to be with other people).

April 25, 2024:

6:30-7:30pm, Belafonte, 306 S. Phoenix Ave.

Branjae is the personification of Black American music; classic soul, funk and R&B. She is an artist, activist, dancer, singer and actress who empowers women and inspires hope for us all by challenging listeners to embrace their natural selves. Previously featured in Billboard, Rolling Stone and Variance with a host of awards and honors for work, Branjae will speak  

May 16, 2024:

5:30-6:30pm, WOMPA, 3306 Charles Page Blvd.

Marlon Hall is a curator of human potential. Academically trained as an anthropologist, an accomplished film-maker, and published author, he is presently a Lecturing Fellow for Duke University and curates Folklore Films which is dedicated to illuminating the beauty from brokenness and the folklore within us all. Marlon will speak

June 6, 2024:

5:30-6:30pm, WOMPA, 3306 Charles Page Blvd.

Barry Friedman is a local writer and comedian who has been featured on NPR and Esquire. He recently gave a TED Talk on

Previous Series

January 11, 2024: Spirituality and Trauma: How Religion Harms and Heals

Featuring Marlin Lavanhar, Minister, All Souls Unitarian Church

January 11, 2024


WOMPA (West O Main Producers Assoc.)

3306 Charles Page Blvd.

The problem with religion and spirituality is there is no quality control.  Religious wounds can run deep due to hurtful doctrines, coercion, shaming, exclusion, secrets, taboos and more.  On the other hand, healthy spirituality and community can provide resilience, healing, inspiration, belonging and liberation.  Mental health can be eroded or fortified by religion and spirituality depending on what is being taught and offered.  Coming from a multi-faith background and lineage of religious freedom, Marlin Lavanhar honors the wisdom in the world’s great religious traditions, indigenous cultures as well as philosophy and science.  With an understanding that everyone has a spiritual nature, and that people find many and diverse ways to nurture their spirits, Lavanhar seeks to help people find or strengthen the way of spirituality that is most meaningful to them.  Join us for a conversation about how spirituality can play a part in good mental health.  

Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar is a spiritual leader, artist and activist who lived for two years in Kyoto, Japan and spent three years traveling around the world on a mountain bike studying, learning and practicing different forms of religion and spirituality.  For the past 23 years he has been the Senior Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, which is the largest Unitarian Universalist Church in North America.  His congregation is fully affirming of LGBTQ+ people and has a highly diverse and multicultural leadership and membership.  In his congregation and family he has wrestled with mental health challenges from ADHD, anxiety and addiction to forms of dissociation, depression, trauma and a range of personality disorders.  He and his wife, Anitra, have a son and a daughter.  Their family includes a transracial adoption as well as the death of a three year old child. Healing from loss and grief is an area of particular interest.  He holds degrees from Tulane University and Harvard Divinity School and honorary doctorates from Philips Theological School and Meadville Lombard Seminary.  He is currently serving as the President of the Board of the Greenwood Cultural Center and has also served as the President of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry.  

February 1, 2024: Healing Trauma Through Community

Speakers Brad Piccolo, guitarist, singer/songwriter and founding member of Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Rangers, and Amy Carlin Lee, Oklahoma musician and singer of And Then There Were Two.

As part of this event, Amy will undergo a public demonstration of EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, as a way to address writer’s block and other nuisances.

February 1, 2024


WOMPA (West O Main Producers Assoc.)

3306 Charles Page Blvd.

February 22, 2024: Mindfulness: Purpose & Practice

Speakers Katie Dale, Executive Director Red Dirt Relief Fund, & Annie Heartfield, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor

February 22, 2024


WOMPA (West O Main Producers Assoc.)

3306 Charles Page Blvd.

Analysis of the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey found that half of adults ages 18-24 reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023, compared to about a third of adults overall. Could it the lingering effects of COVID, the impact of social media or the stress of the rising cost of living? In this session we’ll discuss ways people medicate this common experience, and Annie will lead an easy mindfulness practice anyone can quickly learn to slow down their overthinking mind and get grounded, peaceful and clear.

March 14 2024: Anxiety, OCD and Art

Speaker Sterlin Harjo, American filmmaker, director of FX comedy drama series Reservation Dogs, with “Family Band” concert to follow featuring Johnny Mullenax and friends.

March 14, 2024


Tulsa VFW Post 577

1109 E. 6th St.

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