Specialist, Mental Health & Psychosocial support
Essential Job Duties/Scope of Work:
International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.
Background International Medical Corps (IMC) began working in South Sudan in 1994, nearly 20 years before a 2011 national referendum led to the southern-most states of Sudan becoming an independent nation. IMC works with the Government of South Sudan to strengthen the country health delivery system, reducing the impact of disasters when they occur, and resilience of affected communities through partnership and collaboration with local and international NGOs. IMC is currently strengthening local healthcare capacity in five of the country’s ten states and delivering health services to nearly half a million South Sudanese. IMC provides primary and secondary healthcare services with strong community engagement, mental health and psychosocial support, nutrition and gender-based violence interventions across Central Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile states together with the interventions in the Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites in Juba, Wau, and Malakal. Health services offered by IMC-South Sudan are free of charge for beneficiaries and available to all in need without discrimination.
As a key provider of MHPSS in South Sudan, IMC delivers pharmacological and psychosocial support services to those in need in three conflict-affected states—Upper Nile, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Central Equatoria. IMC co-chair the MHPSS Technical Working Group, contributing to national policy development and work to build the capacity of various key health actors to accommodate the growing demand for mental health services in the country.
This position will work as co-chair with UN lead agencies (IOM and Unicef) responsible for overall implementation and sector coordination of the national MHPSS TWG, and in accordance with IASC guidelines, to build and foster effective coordination of the MHPSS Sub-Sector to ensure it is functioning at a high standard commensurate with the sector working groups, inclusive of: MHPSS stakeholders, health and protection cluster members, health authorities, national and international organizations and civil society actors
He/She will be responsible to facilitate the processes that will ensure a well-coordinated, strategic, coherent, and effective planning, communication and coordination of both the MHPSS response and long-term programming.
The mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) specialist will be responsible for implementing and managing a comprehensive MHPSS project. The project aims to integrate mental health into primary health care service delivery in line with the WHO mhGAP Intervention Guidelines. International Medical Corps’ approach to mental health is heavily based on training and developing the capacity of local partners and national staff; the successful candidate should therefore have experience in training, on the job supervision and mentoring, coordination and in building referral links to other formal service providers and informal community supports. The mental health specialist will train, supervise, coordinate and oversee a national team of mental health officers and a team of community outreach volunteers who will engage in outreach, follow-up and basic mental health and psychosocial support. The MHPSS specialist will closely work and coordinate with the project mental health and psychosocial coordinator (psychiatrist) who is tasked to oversee all MHPSS related activities including training and supervising general health care providers in mental health using mhGAP Intervention Guidelines
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential function with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Actively lead or participate in coordination mechanisms in the area (e.g. Health, general coordination, potential MHPSS coordination group) and advocate for principles of IASC MHPSS guidelines.
- Identify and train local mental health officers and refugee staff/volunteers in community outreach, mental health case management, follow-up and mental health promotion
- Provide training in the identification and non-pharmacological management of priority mental health condition to general health staff in line with WHO mhGAP Intervention Guidelines in coordination with project MHPSS coordinator (psychiatrist)
- Engage trained staff and volunteers in on the job mentoring and supervision
- Provide mental health and psychosocial support services along with health staff as needed
- Ensure completion and analysis of pre post knowledge tests and on the job supervision checklists.
- Support collection and reporting of mental health project data including HMIS reporting and patient outcomes (e.g. functioning, satisfaction with services)
- Provide training in other MHPSS topics as appropriate, depending on identified needs (e.g. key aspects of psychological first aid and relevant aspects of IASC guidelines) to IMC and staff from other agencies
- Implement social and recreational activities (e.g. youth friendly activities)
- Assist with the development of new proposals
- Assist with hiring of national staff as needed
- Implement the project in line with IMC and global MHPSS standards and guidelines and closely coordinate with IMCs Health Technical Unit Global Mental Health Advisor for development and review of training materials and reports.
- Represent IMC in MHPSS related meetings and coordination groups
The duties and responsibilities listed in this document are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and not necessarily all inclusive.
Code of Conduct
It is our shared responsibility and obligation to prevent matters involving Sexual Exploitation & Abuse, Trafficking in Persons, Child Safeguarding and any suggested violation to our Code of Conduct, which may involve Conflicts of Interest, Fraud, Corruption or Harassment. If you see, hear or are made aware of any suggested activities then you have an obligation to report.
The qualified candidate will hold a degree in medicine has completed residency in Psychiatry and holds current license/registration to practice psychiatry.
- 5+ years’ experience working on MHPSS programs, preferably in humanitarian settings
- Training and clinical supervision practice and experience required
- Knowledgeable in and experience following IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergencies and international best practices on the integration of MHPSS into primary health care settings
- Demonstrable technical expertise in the assessment, design, and delivery of responses to pre-existing and emergency-induced MHPSS needs
- Training experience required; capacity and proven track record in national staff and partner training and capacity-building
- Strong organizational and supervisory skills
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work within different cultural environments
- Ability to work in difficult environment under very basic living conditions (refugee camp setting)
- Ability to work within a team structure or in isolation, flexible, and can cope with stressful workloads and working with limited resources
- A good command of verbal and written English.
Job knowledge**: Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the responsibilities specific to the job, as well as the ongoing capacity to stay abreast of changes in job function
Interpersonal/Communication Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work cooperatively and effectively with other employees. Maintains good work relationships both internally and externally and has the ability to work productively as a team.
Situational Judgment: Demonstrates the ability to make good decisions about what should be done given a specific situation. Thinks carefully before taking action and behaves appropriately for the circumstances.
Problem Solving Skills: Demonstrates the ability to use creativity, reasoning, past experience, information and available resources to resolve issues.
Compliance & Ethics: Promotes and encourages a culture of compliance and ethics throughout International Medical Corps. As applicable to the position, maintains a clear understanding of International Medical Corps’ and donor compliance and ethics standards and adheres to those standards. Conducts work with the highest level of integrity. Communicates these standards to partners and requires them to adhere to these values.
Leadership: Takes responsibility for actions, decisions, and outcomes. Can confidently take the lead role on a team, if and when necessary