KEIGHLEY Cougars are today proud to announce It’s Worth Talking About as the club’s first official mental health partner.

Today marks World Mental Health Awareness Day, and the Cougars are proud to support both the ongoing battles for those who struggle with mental health, and our local community, and have paired our support for both these needed and worthwhile causes to make It’s Worth Talking About our first official mental health partner.

It’s Worth Talking About are a mental health support group which was founded earlier this year in the heart of Keighley by Ryan Anderton and his fellow co-founder, Andy.

After initially starting with a single men’s group in Keighley and a women’s group in Haworth prior to lockdown, the changing landscape of the world and the need for support has seen the support group expand across the local area.

It’s Worth Talking About now runs weekly men’s groups in Keighley, Haworth, Bingley, and Saltaire, with weekly’s women’s group also being run in Keighley, Haworth, and Bingley.

The group also provided support to those struggling with the pressures and challenges of lockdown via their social media channels.

They also have a wealth of interest from within the Cougars, with Head of Media and Administration Joshua Chapman a regular at the Keighley men’s group following his diagnosis with Bipolar in February of this year.

And with this in mind, the club have made the decision to welcome It’s Worth Talking About as the official sponsor of both Josh, and his media team of Jordan, Dave and Charlie, to allow the support and message to continue to be shared through the club’s media outlets.

To also mark World Mental Health Awareness Day, the Keighley Cougars make a vow to continue the support to those who work tirelessly to help with the battle against mental health, even more so in the uncertain times, and challenges, presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was shown when Head Coach Rhys Lovegrove spoke publicly in the Rugby League Express earlier this year about players, staff, and supporters, battles with mental health during lockdown and how he, Team Manager Frank Levy, and Player Welfare Officer Judith Marples, made sure all were receiving the support they required and/or needed.

We will continue to support those who struggle with mental health issues and would like to remind all those associated with the club that you can message ourselves, or reach out for support through the club, whenever you need to talk.

Ryan Anderton, co-founder of It’s Worth Talking About, said of the mental health partnership between the support group and the club: “Josh (Cougars Head of Media & Admin) has been a support of #ItsWorthTalkingAbout since our very first meeting.

“To have the Keighley Cougars partnering with us and donating Josh and the media team’s sponsorship to us, shows the clubs support and commitment to increasing the awareness of mental health locally and it is amazing.

“We are extremely proud to now be the sponsor of the Keighley Cougars media team.

“Josh has been a long-time supporter of #ItsWorthTalkingAbout and to be his club sponsor is amazing awareness for us and highlights the importance that the club as a whole put on supporting mental health locally.”

Keighley Cougars Chairman Mick O’Neill added: “As a mental health nurse in New Zealand during the 1960’s, I’ve seen first-hand what challenges those who battle mental health go through.

“Having worked with those people to help improve their mental health for a few years, and seen what the positive effect it can have when people get the right support, I believe it is vitally important that we as a club offer that support.

“We have a support network in place already within the club with Judith, but it is also important and crucial that there is also a network and outlet outside of the club.

“I’ve heard nothing but praise from Josh about It’s Worth Talking About, and the support they provide those who attend their meetings, and with them also being a local mental health support group, I believe it is vitally important we as a club throw our support behind them.

“I would actively encourage all those locally, and our own players and staff, to support the group and attend their meetings should they need to reach out and have an outlet to speak about their own troubles.”


By Joshua Chapman