Clinical Mental Health Specialist

Closing date

IRC began operations in Chad in 2004 to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the influx of refugees from Darfur into eastern Chad, with an intervention in the Oure Cassoni refugee camp. Assistance to Sudanese refugees has now expanded to include the management of eleven camps in the East and one camp in the West with assistance to refugees and local communities in the areas of health, nutrition and water, hygiene and sanitation.

In 2012, in response to drought and food insecurity, IRC expanded its geographical coverage in the Guéra region. IRC is currently working in five health districts, Mongo, Mangalmé, Melfi, Bitkine and Baro, providing reproductive health services and the prevention and treatment of malnutrition and communicable diseases in children under 5 years of age.

In May 2016, IRC opened an office in the Lake region to respond to the Boko Haram crisis. IRC implements projects to provide assistance in health, nutrition, and protection and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV).

IRC Chad commits in its 2015-2020 strategic action plan to continue providing essential humanitarian services in health, nutrition and protection/GBV, while improving the economic well-being and building the resilience of beneficiaries, particularly women and girls. IRC Chad will continue to work with and closely support state actors / line ministries in key areas to ensure that IRC's actions are integrated into national policies to ensure greater ownership of actions undertaken.

IRC Chad's health programs are developed and implemented in line with the IRC Global Health Strategy 2020, the IRC Strategic Action Plan and the IRC Outcome and Evidence Framework as well as the Theories of Change (ToC) related to health outcomes. The sector strategy is based on improving access to curative, preventive and promotional health services, including improved access to drinking water and sanitation. To develop its programs, the Health team works in close collaboration with the government and non-governmental stakeholders and for the past two years has been involved in the transition between emergency and development programs.

Job Overview

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Health Coordinator, the Mental Health Specialist based in Iriba will be responsible for the overall management and implementation of the quality Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program (MHPSS) in all IRC's intervention areas and in particular in the 12 health facilities in the refugee camps.

Major Responsibilities:

The Mental Health Specialist will work in close collaboration with the Mental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Public Health, UNHCR, IRC, HIAS and all members of the Mental Health Working Group that will be established in Chad to facilitate the coordination of mental health interventions in the country and strengthen and integrate them into the minimum package of activities provided in the health centers. The Mental Health Specialist will supervise health workers who provide prevention, diagnosis and treatment services to patients suffering from mental, neurological and substance abuse disorders using the guidelines of the WHO/UNHCR Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) and will train new providers on the mhGAP model. He/she will develop standard operating procedures for the provision of psychosocial support and psychiatric care, as well as group and community-based psychoeducation and support. He/she will represent IRC in all meetings of the Mental Health Working Group.

Specific responsibilities

1. Evaluation and monitoring of the quality of clinical and community mental health services

• Conduct a situation analysis to identify and assess MHPSS needs in IRC's areas of intervention in Chad.

• Conduct formative supervision and/or retraining of health care providers and community health workers on the diagnosis and management of priority mental health problems in accordance with the WHO/UNHCR mhGAP intervention guidelines (WHO mhGAP-IG).

• Provide specialized mental health consultations and psychosocial support to people with specific needs, including GBV survivors.

• Provide support in organizing the offer of community services for better care, follow-up and referral of people suffering from mental and neurological diseases between the community and health institutions.

• Carry out formative supervisions of health workers in order to improve the quality of mental health services provided in health facilities and the community using IRC supervision checklists.

• Ensure that essential psychotropic drugs from the MSP/WHO are available in health facilities and that they are properly stored and prescribed

2. Data management and reporting

• In collaboration with the MEAL coordinator, conduct a monthly analysis of mental health data and share the database and report with the Senior Health coordinator.

• In collaboration with the project leaders and the grant department, participate in the writing of reports for all projects with a mental health component.

3. Representation

• Represent IRC at meetings with Ministry of Health partners, NGOs and UN agencies involved in the mental health sector.

• Represent IRC at mental health response coordination meetings as part of the Mental Health Working Group

• Participate in the development of the Mental Health Working Group Roadmap

Job Requirements

Work Experience:

• Knowledgeable in and has used the IASC MHPSS guidelines and best practices as part of their previous work experience.

• Experience in assessment, program design, evaluation and technical training and supervision using WHO’s mental health gap action program (mhGAP).

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

• Strong organizational and supervisory skills.

• Proficient analytical skills that demonstrate an understanding of the current concepts, priorities, and issues in program monitoring, data collection and evaluation.


• Higher degree in clinical mental health:

o Preferably: an MD degree with specialization in psychiatry plus experience in neurology;

o Alternatively: Persons with another degree in clinical mental health will be considered such as an advanced degree in psychiatric nursing, diploma; ‘technicien superieur en santé mentale’ or ‘psychiatric clinical officer.

o On top of the clinical degree, an additional degree in public health is preferable.

Language Skills:

French language proficiency is required; English language proficiency is a plus.

Preferred experience & skills:

Profound cross-cultural awareness and insight into mental health issues, ability to exercise sound judgment and make decisions independently, extremely flexible, and have the ability to cope with stressful situations and frustrations.

Working Environment:

Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.

Security: Yellow

Accommodation: The successful candidate for this position will be based in Iriba with missions to other sites where IRC provides mental health and psycho-social support services. He/she will be housed in the IRC guest-house together with other expatriate and national colleagues. This position is unaccompanied.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

How to apply