Gartland calls for better mental health services


The son of Stephen Gartland, the rugby league coach who was tragically found dead reacently, has called for more NHS resources to be directed into mental health.

Bradley Gartland, 19, has asserted that his father’s devotion to rugby league was one of the things that made him such an admirable and loveable man.

But the 45-year-old former professional, who turned out for Rochdale Hornets, Oldham Roughyeds and Swinton Lions during his career, had emotional problems which he struggled to share with those around him.

By the time that the Rochdale Mayfield player/coach did manage to talk about his feelings, he had reached a very low point indeed.

“Knowing that he thought that broke my heart and we as a family did everything we could for him,” Bradley Gartland told the Manchester Evening News.

“I spent all my days listening to his worries, talking to him about them and taking him to his favourite places.

“Dealing with the loss of such a happy, passionate and well respected man just shows how powerful depression and mental health is as a whole.”

Stephen Gartland had received medical treatment earlier this year, but he was found dead in Castleton, Rochdale, on Friday, August 19.

His son believes that more resources need to be directed by public health bodies into mental health services, which he feels are currently neglected.

He also passionately asserts that men need to talk about their feelings if they are in mental difficulties.

“Due to that, it is a battle which most families feel like they are fighting on their own,” Gartland said.

“This most definitely calls for a review on mental health as it is overlooked massively in the NHS and extremely underfunded.

“Please, no matter how big, small or trivial you think your worry is, please talk to someone about it. A problem shared can be a problem solved.”