Rachel Gibala

Constituency:Service user: Leeds
elected to the: Council of Governors

“In my role as a governor, I hope to build upon the positive experience that I had with the LYPFT service and use my personal experiences to good effect. In my final year at university in 2006, I fell ill with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and became bed bound. I had to suspend my studies and move back home. My life became unrecognisable. I know first-hand how a physical condition can significantly impact upon an individual’s mental health; and how this in turn can also have wider socio-economic implications for both the individual and their family. I also understand how overwhelming and disheartening the process of diagnosis can be for some patients.

Whilst living with ME, I studied part time and completed my degree with Distinction. I then undertook voluntary roles with the Citizens Advice Bureau & was involved in collecting data for their National Bedroom Tax Campaign. More recently, as an ex-outpatient, I sat on an interview panel for the LYPFT service. To be able to constructively participate in the NHS in this way feels like a natural progressive step. I welcome this opportunity and hope that I can help to make a positive difference.”