28 January 2019

A friendly new face has joined the Trust’s People Participation (PP) team to support staff and adult service users across Central Bedfordshire.

Millie Smith is the new PP Lead for mental health and learning disability services in Central Bedfordshire.

Millie has joined the Trust from Mind BLMK and previously worked for the Trust as a Peer Support Worker and a Service User Representative for the People Participation team.

She re-joined ELFT in January and will be spending the next few weeks meeting as many staff, service users and stakeholders as possible.

Millie was diagnosed with bipolar more than four years ago and is determined to use her lived experience to help as many others facing their own challenges as possible.

She was working in a high-pressure strategic recruitment role when her mental health deteriorated and she ended being supported with her diagnosis, treatment and recovery through a range of mental health services.

“I will talk to anyone who will listen about mental health,” she said.

“Opportunities provided by ELFT when I was really struggling, including sitting on interview panels and staff training, literally saved my life by helping me re-focus and rebuild my self-esteem.

“Because I have been able to turn my life around – with the support of so many amazing people – I am determined to help others living with mental illness by providing the same support, advice and opportunities I was given.”

People Participation is about helping our service users and their carers to have a say in how we run the Trust. It is also about working together so that we can offer a better service for all.

Millie has issued an open invitation for teams, service users and stakeholders to get in touch.

Her email address is Camilla.smith8@nhs.net