Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Consultant at Americares

TITLE: Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Consultant
DEPARTMENT: Africa & Middle East Programs
LOCATION: Iraq strongly preferred/Middle East region
REPORTS TO: Associate Director, Africa and Middle East
MHPSS Technical Advisor (matrix reporting)
ASSIGNMENT TYPE: 6-month consultancy

Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster. Each year, Americares reaches 90 countries on average, including the United States, with life-changing health programs, medicine, medical supplies and emergency aid. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit

For this initiative, Americares has partnered with a local NGO, Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO). Founded in 2007, IHAO works to improve access and support to health and to address the social determinants of health. Working in partnership with UNFPA, UNESCO, Heartland Alliance and IHF, the organization runs 25 health centers and mobile clinics as well as 16 women’s support centers in several regions of Iraq. IHAO partnered with Americares to offer IPC and WASH trainings as part of their response to COVID-19, and Americares will be providing additional support in MHPSS.

Americares is supporting IHAO’s MHPSS work in Iraq through MHPSS trainings and technical support in Problem Management (PM) +, basic psychosocial support and counseling skills, as well as suicide prevention. Trainings will primarily target Kirkuk, a governorate with critical humanitarian needs and a large number of IDPs/returnees.

The consultant will work closely with IHAO, Americares, and the governorate’s Department of Health (DoH) to assess needs, review previous training materials and outcomes, and develop a technical assistance plan, which will enable long-term capacity strengthening beyond a one-time training. Americares and IHAO plan to deploy a Training of Trainers (ToT) model, where IHAO officers and DoH officials from Kirkuk and potentially 2-3 other governorates are trained in the aforementioned areas. In turn, these trainers are then expected to roll out the training at various local health facilities for providers providing MHPSS services and referrals within their governorates.

The consultant will review and adapt content across WHO PM+, psychosocial support skills, and suicide prevention to develop a streamlined, interactive, and practical training package, tailored for the local context. The consultant will deliver the training (virtually or in person, if in Iraq) to DoH officials as part of the ToT effort. The consultant will also provide strategic technical assistance as follow-up to the trainings to ensure social workers and healthcare staff apply best practices and have a practical approach towards their MHPSS work. Technical support can include rolling out guidelines, tools/job-aids, and/or strengthening IHAO’s M&E systems to better evaluate the impact of its MHPSS programming on clients in a culturally appropriate way.

The consultant will be expected to take a hands-on approach towards curriculum development and training. This can include assessing needs of training participants via a pre-training assessment and tailoring the content accordingly; building in time to hear feedback from training participants and IHAO managers following each training; following up with training participants during the months after the training in order to measure progress and provide additional support and supervision as needed.

This position is for 6 months and preferable to be based in Iraq, with travel to Kirkuk and other target governorates. Remote applications from the Middle East region will also be considered.

Potential duties, responsibilities, and deliverables include but may not be limited to:
-Co-designing needs assessment to identify key training needs of participants.
-Analyzing needs assessment findings with the MHPSS Technical Advisor to develop MHPSS priorities and work plan.
-Designing and delivering a MHPSS training package with the MHPSS Technical Advisor, including WHO PM+, psychosocial support counseling skills, and suicide prevention, relevant to the findings in the needs assessment.
-Developing training resources and manuals (curriculum, agendas, training schedules, learning resources, monitoring and evaluation tools etc.) for MHPSS programing.
-Developing technical resources (job aids, training manuals, etc.) that integrate key MHPSS principles and responses into ongoing health service delivery provided at government-supported district hospitals and health centers.
-Coordinating with the DoH and IHAO to provide appropriate training and support to providers at local health facilities providing MHPSS services and referrals
-Collaborating with Americares US-based staff to manage project deliverables.
-Attending weekly coordination calls with the HQ Africa and Middle East and MHPSS teams
-Collaborating with Americares MHPSS technical unit and M&E teams to ensure high quality of project deliverables.
-Writing and submitting monthly progress reports.
-Coordinating with IHAO for operational, administrative, and program activities as needed and relevant for the work.
-Responsiveness, results-oriented, collaborative, accountable, effective, and integrity.
-Coach, support, and develop partners, staff, and community members to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the project.
-Develop and manage implementation of plans to increase department operating performance, including SOPs and other efficiency initiatives.
-Genuine interest in helping to improve the lives and health of people affected by poverty and disaster so that they can reach their full potential.

-At least 5+ years of progressive experience in mental health and/or psychosocial support
-An advanced degree in Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing, Social Work or related mental health related profession
-Experience designing and conducting needs assessments
-Experience designing and implementing mental health related technical training, especially related to WHO PM+, psychosocial support counseling skills, and suicide prevention, to a wide variety of clients in humanitarian settings
-Dynamic and interactive trainer with experience facilitating participatory activities, role play, etc. in MHPSS trainings
-Project management experience
-Experience collaborating with government, NGO, and private-sector partners
-Experience working on teams from multiple geographies
-Based in the Middle East region with the ability to potentially travel to and work in Iraq
-Strong written and spoken English language skills
-Fluency in Arabic
-Proficient in Microsoft applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
Preferred Qualifications:
-8+ years of experience in mental health and/or psychosocial support
-Based in Iraq
-Strong understanding of the local context in the Kirkuk governorate or similar settings
-Experience delivering a Training of Trainers of PM+
-Dedicated to supporting the MHPSS needs
-Passion for Americares mission
-Strong organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills
-Strong communication skills
This job description only serves as a guide for the position available. Americares reserves the right to change this document. Due to the nature of Americares work we aim to fill vacancies as quickly as possible and will close the advert as soon as the right candidate is found, which may be before the published closing date.

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