Identify Green Light Leaders

Staff working in mental health services are busy, so it can help to identify specific individuals to lead on Green Light work.

Green Light Champion

A Green Light Champion will be a member of the team who agrees to focus on this area of work alongside their other duties, whilst their colleagues take a similar role for other key areas. The key tasks of the Green Light Champion are to:

  • Help their colleagues in the team develop their skills in responding to autistic people and people with learning disabilities
  • Attend meetings with other Green Light Champions, coordinated by the Green Light Facilitator (see below)
  • Work with the team leader to review practice, develop an action plan and implement improvements. This will include supporting the use of Green Light surveys.

The role should be taken up by a staff member who has prior training or experience in working with autistic people or people with learning disabilities, or by someone who is simply interested in learning. They may have particular skills, such as the use of Makaton or an understanding of sensory differences, or they may be able to signpost colleagues to where this expertise can be found. The Green Light Champion will have a liaison role with other teams and services, especially where people need support from more than one team. A role description for a Green Light Champion is available here, along with a Declaration of Commitment that secures some protected time for staff taking on the role of Green Light Champion.

Green Light Facilitator

The Green Light Facilitator coordinates activity across the mental health organisation. A sample job description for a Green Light Facilitator is available here. Activities might involve:

  • Coordinating use of the Green Light survey tools to create a picture of what is happening across the organisation or team.
  • Reviewing a number of team action plans and developing a coherent response to common issues.
  • Providing expertise in the best ways to support autistic people and people with learning disabilities who are using mental health services, especially those without speech or who are part of underserved communities.
  • Supporting Green Light Champions by arranging networking, training and showcase opportunities.
  • Negotiating with senior managers and commissioners to plug service gaps and enhance seamless provision for autistic people and people with learning disabilities who need mental health care.
  • Broadening partnerships by finding and supporting leaders amongst the community of people using the service, family members and other agencies and community groups.

Local Green Light Network

As mentioned above, forming a local Network to enhance communication and build relationships amongst Green Light Champions has many benefits. It can stir up enthusiasm, arrange training, showcase good practice and facilitate collaboration between teams – see these Terms of Reference for an example. It may be that Green Light Champions are also part of local Partnership Boards, or Clinical Networks to champion the needs of autistic people and people with learning disabilities.

The Network may include people from other organisations who take an interest in Green Light issues. For example, in Derbyshire Healthwatch form part of their Green Light Network. During early 2022, the Living Well Project, which is run by the Derby and Derbyshire Mental Health Together Team at Healthwatch Derbyshire carried out a survey to find out about the experiences of three groups of people using mental health services – autistic people, people with attention deficit disorder and people with learning disabilities.

Green Light Networks can include members of the emergency services, employers, family members – indeed, anyone with an interest.