Highly respected dermatologist Dr Brian Entwisle was so intensely private that not even his closest friends knew he’d struggled with his mental health. In a final act of generosity, Brian left a bequest gift in his Will to Beyond Blue that will provide support to thousands of people in Australia.
A quiet and solitary man, Brian didn’t have many friends, but he was close to former student and dermatology partner, Dr Peter Sinclair, and his second cousin, Iain Entwisle.
Peter and Iain were friends with Brian for decades and cared for him during his final years. Even so, the news that Brian had struggled with his mental health came as a shock, says Iain.
“Even after having Brian in my life for the last 40 years, I had no idea he had difficulties with his mental health until around five years ago when he told me he’d had some real issues with anxiety.”
Iain says Brian was very private, and not inclined to express his personal feelings, even though they were friends for so long.
“I also think that back then, there would have been a stigma around having a mental health issue, so he kept it to himself.”
He probably suffered in silence much more than I knew. And I think he wanted to alleviate that for people in the same situation.
Iain says if there’s one thing he knows about Brian, it’s that he never made a decision without considering it very carefully.
“He would have included Beyond Blue in his Will for a very personal reason, knowing it would be important. He would have wanted to do something to help people try and make the world a better place,” says Iain.
“And knowing what I know now about how Brian must have suffered, I think he would have hoped he could make sure there’d be care available for other people in the same situation he was in, so they didn’t have to go through what he did.”
Brian’s exceptional gift will help more than 8,700 people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide get the support they need from a trained mental health professional through the Beyond Blue Support Service.