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Job offer: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Exciting Career Opportunity: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Position

JOB DESCRIPTION

  • Job ID: req52666
  • Location: Buea, South-West Region
  • Country: Cameroon
  • Category: Technical Units
  • Employee Type: Fixed Term
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Open To Expatriates: No
  • Currency: CFA Franc BCEAO
  • Compensation: Monthly

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to some of the world’s most dire humanitarian crises, focusing on restoring health, safety, education, economic stability, and empowerment to individuals devastated by conflict and disasters. Established in 1933 at the urging of Albert Einstein, IRC is one of the largest international non-governmental organizations, operating in over 50 countries and 25 U.S. cities. Our mission is to help people survive, regain control of their futures, and strengthen their communities. At IRC, we are committed to making a lasting impact by restoring safety, dignity, and hope to millions worldwide. If you are a proactive problem-solver and passionate about driving change, join us in making a positive impact on the lives of millions for a brighter future.

ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION

Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the most severe humanitarian crises, providing vital care and transformative assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons forced to flee due to conflict or disaster. Currently operational in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, IRC works to restore safety, dignity, and hope to millions uprooted and striving to endure. From harm to home, IRC leads the way.

COUNTRY PROGRAM OVERVIEW

IRC initiated its Cameroon operations in 2016 in response to escalating concerns over violence linked to Boko Haram in the Far North region. Our assistance extends to displaced populations across Mayo Sava, Mayo Tsanaga, and Logone & Chari, delivering life-saving interventions such as improved water access, enhanced hygiene practices in vulnerable communities, cash programs to support impoverished families in meeting basic needs and enhancing food security, and protection programs tailored to address the specific needs of women and girls. In response to the deepening crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, IRC expanded its presence to the South-West in August 2018 and to the North-West in December 2019, providing crucial humanitarian aid to internally displaced populations. IRC operates field offices in Maroua and Kousseri in the Far North, Buea in the South-West, Bamenda in the North-West, and maintains a representation office in Yaoundé.

IRC Cameroon remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering essential humanitarian services with a focus on community safety, ensuring affected populations can meet their basic needs, and enhancing the resilience of beneficiaries, particularly women and girls.

JOB CONTEXT

The ongoing crisis in the South-West and North-West regions of Cameroon has had a profound impact on the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities. Disturbing reports of self-harm and other mental health challenges underscore the urgent need for effective interventions. These issues are driven by a complex interplay of factors, including:

  • Violence: Physical, sexual, and emotional trauma experienced during conflict and displacement.
  • Socioeconomic hardship: Poverty, lack of access to basic needs, and disruption of livelihoods.
  • Discrimination and exclusion: Marginalization based on gender, ethnicity, or other social factors.
  • Lack of access to care: Limited availability of quality mental health and psychosocial support services.

Untreated mental health issues pose significant risks to the overall health and well-being of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities. Recognizing this, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) integrates Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) as a cross-cutting priority across its programs. MHPSS encompasses a range of interventions aimed at protecting and promoting mental well-being, preventing mental disorders, and providing treatment when needed.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The MHPSS Officer will play a critical role in ensuring the quality and effectiveness of IRC’s MHPSS interventions in the South-West Region under the ECHO-funded project. This includes:

  • Technical Leadership: Providing expertise and guidance on MHPSS program design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Capacity Building: Strengthening the skills and knowledge of IRC staff and partners to deliver high-quality MHPSS services.
  • Program Oversight: Monitoring program performance, ensuring adherence to best practices, and adapting strategies as needed.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with other sectors within IRC (e.g., protection, child protection, SGBV) to ensure integrated MHPSS programming.

MHPSS Technical Lead/Advisor

Core Responsibilities

  • MHPSS Intervention Design: Lead and collaborate on the creation of effective mental health and psychosocial support interventions, tools, and materials. Conduct training and provide coaching to IRC staff to ensure successful implementation.
  • Needs Assessment and Support: Regularly assess the MHPSS needs of vulnerable individuals, including those with specific vulnerabilities. Offer guidance and support for staff well-being, identifying mental health concerns and facilitating appropriate referrals.
  • Service Integration: Strengthen referral mechanisms between communities, MHPSS services, and protection partners. Collaborate with health staff to provide direct mental health and psychosocial support when needed.
  • Coordination and Advocacy: Actively participate in MHPSS coordination mechanisms, advocating for adherence to IASC guidelines. Ensure that implementing partners (if applicable) comply with protection policies and uphold professional standards in delivering MHPSS services.
  • Specialized Care: Assess and provide treatment for individuals with high priority or complex mental health needs, determining appropriate follow-up interventions.
  • Community Engagement: Oversee social and recreational activities across affected communities, supporting Protection Rule of Law (PROL), Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE), and Child Protection (CP) initiatives. Raise awareness about MHPSS services, address stigma, and promote quality rights in mental health.
  • Capacity Building: Provide coaching, training, and mentorship to strengthen the technical capacity of MHPSS staff.
  • Integrated Protection:
    1. Oversee CP, WPE, and PROL case management activities, ensuring adherence to standards and protocols.
    2. Organize regular case reviews and escalate complex cases for technical support.
  • Reporting:
    1. Collaborate on designing MHPSS reporting templates and ensure timely submission of reports to internal and external stakeholders.
    2. Support partners in reporting project activities, particularly in case management.
  • Additional:
    1. Adhere to IRC policies and procedures.

Key Skills and Qualifications:

  • [List relevant education, experience, and certifications]
  • Strong understanding of mental health and psychosocial support principles and practices.
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing MHPSS interventions in complex humanitarian settings.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a cross-cultural environment.

Minimum Qualifications

Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Work, Psychology, Public Health, or a related field.
  • Additional certifications in Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) preferred.

Experience:

  • 5+ years of progressive experience implementing community-based MHPSS interventions, particularly those addressing social norms and change.
  • Demonstrated experience in humanitarian settings, ideally at the international level.
  • Proven track record of applying the IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings.
  • Experience in counseling and clinical supervision of non-specialist counselors.
  • Expertise in developing and adapting MHPSS curricula and materials for low-resource environments.
  • Strong history of training and mentoring staff in MHPSS principles and practice.

Essential Skills:

  • Exceptional Communication: Clear, concise writing and the ability to explain complex MHPSS concepts to diverse audiences.
  • Interpersonal Acumen: Strong relationship-building skills, facilitation of collaborative decision-making, and conflict resolution.
  • Analytical Thinking: Ability to strategically analyze and enhance MHPSS interventions for optimal impact.
  • Languages: Full professional fluency in both English and French (written and verbal).

Deadline for Applications: July 15, 2024

To Apply:

APPLY HERE

Our Commitment

The [Your Organization Name] is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity, service, accountability, and equality. We are committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace where all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

Important Note: We strongly encourage applications from individuals who identify as members of underrepresented groups in the humanitarian sector.

Key Improvements:

  • Concise and Impactful: Eliminates redundancy and focuses on the most critical qualifications.
  • Tailored Language: Uses terminology specific to the humanitarian and MHPSS fields.
  • Emphasis on Diversity: Explicitly highlights the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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