Vacancy Notice No. VA/FTA/018/2019

Title of Post Assistant Mental Health and Psychosocial Officer Category/grade National Professional Officer (NPO), NOA
Post Number 10028789 Type of contract Fixed-term appointment
Location Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh Date of Issue 8 May 2019
Effective date of assignment
As soon as possible Closing Date 21 May 2019

Operational Context:

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) describes any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental disorder. It is therefore, by definition, a multi-sectoral issue. Within the work of UNHCR and partners, MHPSS activities do not constitute a separate sector, but are mainly realized within existing sectors and work fields such as health, nutrition, community-based protection, child protection, and SGBV. The multisectoral MHPSS team is placed within the Public Health Unit and has strong functional ties with the other relevant units in protection and programme. The main task of the MHPSS team is to build and maintain capacity for MHPSS interventions within UNHCR and partners in order to foster delivery of quality MHPSS interventions for refugees and surrounding host communities.

  • The Assistant Mental Health and Psychosocial Officer will enhance UNHCR’s efforts during the current emergency in Cox's Bazar to ensure that mental health and psychosocial support is well integrated in the humanitarian response, especially in camp based primary health care services.
  • The incumbent will be responsible for building the capacity of primary health care staff on assessment and management of priority mental health conditions using mhGAP HIG curriculum.
  • The incumbent is a psychiatrist by background and has an experience in capacity building activities.
  • The incumbent is a member of the MHPSS team and reports to the Mental Health and Psychosocial Officer. The supervisor defines the general work objectives and provides necessary advice and guidance.
  • Under the overall direction of the Public Health Unit, the Assistant MHPSS Officer works directly with stakeholders, including other UNHCR staff, government, NGO partners, as well as the communities of concern.
  • The incumbent supports the identification of MHPSS gaps and contributes to the design of a MHPSS strategy by ensuring that it reflects the needs of persons of concern and builds on the capacities of partners.
  • To fulfil this role the Asst Psychosocial and Mental Health Officer is required to spend a substantial percentage of her/his time working outside the office, assessing MHPSS needs in the field, coordinating with the staff of partners, and monitoring the delivery of MHPSS programs.

Functional Statement:

Accountability (key results that will be achieved)

  • UNHCR’s policies, standards and procedures around MHPSS are constantly and coherently applied.
  • Capacity for MHPSS is built within staff of partners, particularly those working in community and other non-clinical settings.
  • UNHCR and partners are equipped to identify, respond to, refer, and profile mental health and psychosocial problems of the population, including particularly vulnerable cases.
  • Comprehensive psychosocial interventions package is delivered for priority conditions in community settings, outpatient treatment, and other approaches, in line with the established tools and in coordination with partners.

Responsibility (process and functions undertaken to achieve results)

  • Assist partners and UNHCR staff in the protection unit to develop, coordinate, and monitor appropriate MHPSS interventions.
  • Contribute to capacity building of UNHCR staff and partner staff around community-based psychosocial support and evidence-based scalable psychological interventions through organizing training and supportive clinical supervision.
  • Support the development of functional referral and follow-up mechanisms around people with MHPSS between community and services.
  • Upon indication, assist UNHCR protection unit in assessing the MHPSS needs of persons of concern (high priority cases and or persons with complex or severe problems) initiate treatment and define appropriate follow up interventions.
  • Undertake regular visits to various sites in order to assess MHPSS needs of persons of concern, with particular attention to vulnerable groups.
  • Perform monitoring around MHPSS activities of partners including, upon request of the relevant units, partners in Community-based Protection, Child protection, SGBV and education, and maintain an adequate line of good quality and efficient reporting.
  • Organize clinical supervision and support to health care workers around mental health care.
  • Perform monitoring around mental health, including processes in general health services in primary health centres, but also in reproductive and child health, and around medical referrals for mental health to government hospitals.
  • Provide support to the implementing partner to ensure the correct use of the mental health elements of Health Information System (HIS), collect data for the annual UNHCR reporting, review and analyse monthly health data, and compile annual reports on the mental health situation in camps.
  • Work on establishing referral pathways from the community to the primary health care system and from the primary health care system to secondary care for persons with severe mental health conditions who need this.

Authority (decisions made in executing responsibilities and to achieve results)

  • Provide technical guidance to partners around MHPSS, particularly the partners who work outside health facilities.
  • Keep regular contacts with local authorities and partners as requested by supervisor.
  • Represent UNHCR MHPSS team in Protection Coordination meetings, as requested by supervisor.
  • Ensure compliance of implementing partners with global protection policies and standards of professional integrity in the delivery of MHPSS services.

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • Undergraduate degree (equivalent of BA/BS) in clinical/educational/counselling Psychology plus minimum of 1 year previous relevant job experience.
  • Knowledge of and experience in various psychological interventions.
  • Experience with provision MHPSS services in refugee settings or other disadvantaged communities.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Computer skills (MS Office applications).
  • Knowledge of local institutions
  • Excellent spoken and written English and Bangla.

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies:

  • Proficiency in Chittagonian dialect or Rohingya language is an asset.
  • Experience with capacity building (organising and giving trainings and workshop, performing and supportive supervision).

Required Competencies:

Managerial Competencies

  • Empowering and Building Trust

Cross-Functional Competencies

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Stakeholder Management

Candidates must be Bangladeshi nationals.

Internal staff members should consult the Policy and Procedures on Assignments of Locally recruited Staff (PPAL). If you have questions regarding eligibility, you may also contact the HR Unit.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, please visit the portal of the International Civil Service Commission at: http://icsc.un.org

Submission of Applications:

Interested candidates meeting the above requirements are requested to submit their applications with fully complete and signed Personal History Form and Supplementary Pages via online: UNHCR Bangladesh Job Portal www.unhcr.io/jobs.

Personal History Form not submitted in UNHCR format as well as not signed, incomplete and late applications will not be accepted. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates are required to sit for a written test and oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing or any other fees).

UNHCR strongly encourages qualified female applicants for this position. UNHCR seeks to ensure that male and female employees are given equal career opportunities. UNHCR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

UNCHR has a zero tolerance policy against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). SEA is unacceptable behaviour and prohibited conduct for UNHCR personnel. It constitutes acts of serious misconduct and is therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including dismissal. Any concerns or suspicions about a possible case of SEA should be reported immediately to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO).

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