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17-317: MHPSS Specialist
Country:Cameroon
Department:International Operations
  
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.

Program Background

International Medical Corps has experience with implementing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programming in Cameroon since 2009. IMC UK has been successfully implementing a MHPSS programming in Minawao camp with support from UNHCR since November 2014 addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of Nigerian refugees residing in Minawao camp in Mokolo Health District, many of whom have been impacted by the conflict, subsequent forced displacement resulting in multiple losses, and the challenging living conditions in the refugee camp. The MHPSS program includes identification, pharmacological and psychosocial management of mental health conditions. Services are provided by an IMC psychiatric nurse and national psychologist. The most encountered mental health condition during routine consultation includes epilepsy (66%), delirium and psychotic symptoms (22%), stress (3%), and other forms of behavioral problems, mental regression, and autism (9%).

This refugee population has multiple and complex needs and requires a comprehensive mental health and case management approach that identifies, supports and protects those who are vulnerable while promoting stability and recovery.  A main challenge is the lack of mental health and psychosocial services within the Health District of Mokolo.  In such context, the WHO recommends capacity building of primary healthcare providers in the identification and management of priority mental health conditions.  In addition, integrating mental health services into primary health care centers has been found to be cost effective, resulting in services that are more accessible and prevent stigma.  IMC aim at building the capacity  of  primary health care providers (physicians and nurses) within 2 health facilities in the identification and the pharmacological and non-pharmaceutical management of priority mental health conditions (i.e., epilepsy, depression, psychosis, anxiety disorders) through providing base course and refresher trainings and on the job supervision by an expatriate psychiatrist.

 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

 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.

  1. Identify and train local mental health officers and refugee staff/volunteers in community outreach, mental health case management, follow-up and mental health promotion
  2. 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)
  3. Engage trained staff and volunteers in on the job mentoring and supervision
  4. Provide mental health and psychosocial support services along with health staff as needed
  5. Ensure completion and analysis of pre post knowledge tests and on the job supervision checklists.
  6. Support collection and reporting of mental health project data including documentation for reporting and patient outcomes (e.g. functioning, satisfaction with services)
  7. 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
  8. Implement social and recreational activities (e.g. youth friendly activities)
  9. Assist with the development of new proposals
  10. Assist with hiring of national staff as needed
  11. 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.
  12. Represent IMC in MHPSS related meetings and coordination groups. 

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 values to staff and to partners and requires them to adhere to these values. 

Qualifications:

1. Holds a degree in medicine with specialization in psychiatry and holds current license/registration to practice

2. Has a minimum 3 years clinical experience in a hospital and / or community based mental health, preferably in humanitarian/low resource settings

3. Experience of developing training materials

4. Experience and skills in training medical professionals and non-professionals

5. Strong organizational and supervisory skills.

6. Experience of advocacy / engagement with government and non-governmental organisations

7. Committed to working in a team, and prioritizing development of other team members’ capacity

8. Strong interpersonal skills and able to work and lead individuals as a team

9. Diplomatic and able to network and build good working relationships

10. Willingness to travel, sometimes in difficult circumstances

11. Can cope with stressful workloads and working with limited resources.

12. A good command of verbal and written English and French, local language is a plus