National Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Advisor

Posted 9 months ago by Medecins Du Monde
Location Erbil Job Type Contract
Salary Sector NGO

MdM has been working in Iraq since the 1990s. During its first mission in the country, MdM was providing general and specialized medical services (surgery, training programs for traditional birth attendants). Since then MdM had several programs which included paediatric surgery, contributing to the renewal of techniques and knowledge of surgical, medical and paramedical staff in 1997, emergency medical activities in 2002, building local capacity on basic emergency healthcare services at community level in 2006. From 2009 to 2011, MdM supported an Iraqi NGO in the implementation of a program aimed at improving the skills of midwives and traditional birth attendants in accordance with recognized international standards.

In 2014, with the arrival of ISIL, MdM started to provide immediate healthcare support through curative and preventive care including MHPSS services to IDPs and host communities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). Later, MdM expanded its support to the most vulnerable IDPs and host communities outside of the KR-I region, in Kirkuk Governorate in July 2015, and in Ninewa Governorate in April 2016. Since 2018, MdM has developed a program where activities are gradually handed over to the MoH.
The current program focuses on supporting the local health authorities in providing quality PHC services (including MHPSS and GBV response) and continue to strengthen the capacities of local public health authorities in Dohuk, Kirkuk and Ninewa governorates, to provide quality care and respond to health needs of IDPs, returnees and vulnerable host communities.
This includes:

  • A combination of direct and complementary services, especially related to general health, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), while contributing to the health system strengthening through capacity building at DOH level
  • Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS),
  • Gender based violence (GBV) integrated within the PHCC general health services, SRH and MHPSS services
  • As a cross cutting approach MdM is planning to develop a community health based (CHB) approach to ensure community participation, while empowering individuals.

Main responsibilities 
Under the supervision of the Program Coordinator , and in close collaboration with the field teams, the National MHPSS advisor will ensure the implementation of quality MHPSS services in the areas of intervention.

Working relations 
The National Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Advisor reports directly to Program Coordinator and receives technical support from MHPSS Technical Advisor at the HQ level as needed. S/he works closely with the full coordination team which includes:

  • Medical Advisor
  • GBV Advisor
  • MEAL Department
  • Admin Coordinator
  • Logistic coordinator
  • Security and access supervisor.
  • Field managers (Mosul, Kirkuk)
S/he technically supervises:
  • PSS and Community mobilization officers at the field level.
Essential duties
Develop/update MHPSS strategy and monitoring the MHPSS program:
  • Support technically the MHPSS program teams and participate in health-MHPSS needs assessments;
  • Support technically the MHPSS program teams in each base in designing, planning and implementing the project’s activities; by conducting regular field visits (defining TOR and reporting on each visits using formal tools)
  • Ensure an integration of health, MHPSS and GBV activities in the program activities in coordination with the
  • Medical and GBV managers;
  • Ensure the implementation of the community-based approach across the MHPSS programming;
  • Participate actively in proposal development, grant opening meetings, program review meetings and grant closure meetings;
  • Monitor the implementation of the MHPSS program activities on timeliness and quality and ensure compliance with the objectives set in the project proposals;
  • Ensure that the MHPSS activities of the mission’s programmes comply with MdM’s country strategy;
  • Ensure tools and practices across the whole of the mission are harmonised and capitalised in relation to MdM tools and helps to update them in conjunction with the MHPSS advisor in HQ;
  • Provide continuous information to the Program Coordinator, MHPSS advisor in HQ, and program teams on new directions on MHPSS policies at a national level and within MDM;
  • Contribute in annual reflection and strategic development workshops in close coordination with the general coordinator, Medical Advisor, GBV Advisor, and MEAL Advisor;
  • Review the internal and donor reports of the program teams for the MHPSS component;
  • Analyse the monthly MHPSS data from the field in coordination with the Program Coordinator;
  • Follow up and analyse country MHPSS data with the support of the Program Coordinator.
  • Ensure that proposals to donors including MHPSS components are in line with MDM’s MHPSS approach (refer to internal guidelines and strategical positioning).
Technical support of MHPSS program staff and local partners:
Build capacity of MDM teams and national Partners (DOH and NNGOs) through development and facilitation of training and supervision;
  • Provide technical supervision whenever is needed to the PSS-CM officers and MHPSS teams;
  • Develop MHPSS tools based on the program needs and disseminate them among the team;
  • Identify training needs for MHPSS staff and provide organisational, and technical support for trainings
  • Participate in identifying MHPSS training needs of local partners, DOH staff, and NNGO;
  • With the support of HR Dept, develop adapted recruitment tools validated with MHPSS LACMENA Advisor.
  • Ensure the quality of the training and supervision conducted by the MHPSS teams by preparing or validating training manuals, training tools and supervision tools.
  • Guide and train the teams participating in needs assessments and ensure the availability of tools for the needs assessment;
  • Ensure access to MDM internal guidelines relevant to MHPSS on your mission.
Logistical administrative, finance, and HR support:
  • Contribute to analysing bids made by suppliers for purchases
  • Provides all the information needed to produce a cash flow forecast for his/her own department to the Finance Coordinator on a monthly basis.
  • Draw up job descriptions for the members of the health team
  • Participate actively in the recruitment for MHPSS staff
  • Participate in the semi-annual performance reviews for MHPSS staff in coordination with the line managers
  • Ensure MdM’s internal regulations are understood and complied with by your team.
Internal and External coordination:
  • Represent MDM to key players in the MHPSS sector;
  • Represent MdM to NGOs, UN agencies, local and national government bodies, donors and other relevant parties in the field and share information with the coordination team;
  • Represent MDM in the MHPSS working group, ensuring active participation and timely reporting;
  • In the event of a visit by a donor, play an active role in preparing and managing the visit;
  • Attend coordination and program meetings as an active contributor;
  • Ensure a coordination mechanism with all MHPSS staff and their line managers.
Staff well-being:
  • Based on the needs identified implement a Staff Well-being Programme addressing daily stressors and critical incidents, as well as peer-support groups integrated across projects
  • Provide trainings on stress management and self-care / positive coping mechanisms to MHPSS staff
  • Provide trainings on leadership skills to management staff
  • Provide recommendations to HR regarding improvements in management of staff (inclusive of recruitment processes, orientation, general management, and ending of contracts)
Skills required:

  • Master’s degree in psychology, social work or related mental health field;
  • licensure for independent clinical practice an asset;
  • Training in Project Cycle Management is an asset;

Professional experience
  • At least 3 years relevant professional experience in similar position in humanitarian sector
  • Project management in humanitarian work or a related field
  • Proven experience in providing technical support to field teams implementing
  • Solid experience of project planning and budget holding; proposal and report writing.
  • Experience in remote management and post emergency
  • Experience in Iraqi context.
Skills and qualities required
  • Knowledge and understanding of project management tools (Logical Framework analysis, project cycle management, objectives and indicators etc.)
  • Experience in management of multi projects budgets
  • Experience with MHPSS tools in Humanitarian context
  • Ability to develop tools for MHPSS programs in Humanitarian context
  • Capacity building skills
  • Supportive management style (experience managing and supervising staff)
  • Confident and proficient in the use of MS Office
  • English: Fluent
  • Arabic: Fluent
  • Kurdish: Fluent
  • French: an asset
Employment conditions
  • Position based in Erbil (with regular travel to the bases in Ninawa and Kirkuk and other locations on need basis)
  • 6 months contract and renewable subject to funding
  • Start date: July 2022

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Medecins Du Monde


MdM has been working in Iraq since the 1990s. During its first mission in the country, MdM was providing general and specialized medical services (surgery, training programs for traditional birth a...

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