Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Counselor Assistant

IRC - The International Rescue Committee

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Job Description

Background/IRC Summary:

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Today, 13.4 million people in Syria - more than half of the country's population - are in need of humanitarian assistance with needs increasingly being exacerbated by economic decline. Of these, 6.8 million are refugees and asylum-seekers who have fled the country. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis a rapidly expanding portfolio, supported by more than 1000+ staff in Syria Country Program. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria and the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan in the fields of health, child protection, early childhood development, education, women’s protection and empowerment, non-food items and food distribution, cash assistance, water and sanitation, protection and rule of law, and livelihood programming. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.

Job Overview/Summary:

Under the guidance and direct supervision of the MHPSS Officer, the MHPSS Counselor Assistant supports the beneficiaries, individuals, families and communities at the IRC health facility site. He will enhance the individual and collective wellbeing and ensure that vulnerable people, including children and adults are safeguarded from harm. MHPSS counselor will work closely with MHPSS Officer to ensure implementation of Mental Health activities in an effective and proper way in line with mhGAP guidance and facilitate all operational needs in the field through close coordination with other team member at the clinic.


- Under supervision of the MHPSS Officer, and extended MHPSS Snr. Officer supervision, MHPSS counselor will undertake following responsibilities: - Conduct mental health assessments of individuals and families in covered areas by Medical Unit, or referred by other agencies, develop care plans, deliver psychological intervention, and follow ups in close cooperation with trained General Practitioners (GPs) and Psychiatrist. - Conduct group psychoeducation & Psychosocial support (PSS) sessions for men and women to raise awareness about Mental Health aspects and symptoms of Mental Health disorders. - Contribute and support in conducting awareness sessions on several mental health and psychosocial support topics by CHWs. - Ensure all client files are kept in safe, privet and appropriately way by regularly data audit. - Facilitate Protection clients’ access to mental health services. - Submit regular feedback report to the MHPSS Officer, MHPSS Snr. officer, Health Information System (HIS) team and follow up the progress against targets, all implementation details, and challenges. - Offering information, support and advocacy to individuals and families, including escorting them, if necessary, to relevant services. - Work with the referring case manager/social worker from Protection to streamline service provision and follow-up, including referrals to other PSS activities, (working in close collaboration IRC Protection colleagues). - Liaising with and making referrals to other agencies and conduct follow ups to assess progress. - Develop services mapping for targeted area and update it regularly and share the supervisor with. - Participating in multidisciplinary teams, case conferences, working groups, ad hoc workshops and thematic trainings when required. - Maintaining accurate and secured records and update them in a timely manner. - Participating in MHPSS trainings, Peer Support sessions, bi-weekly supervision sessions and team meetings. - Contributing to the development of and participation in proposed activities in relation to psychosocial support and increased well-being of the targeted population. - Contribute to raise the capacity building needs regarding the Mental Health. - Raising field needs to Administrative Officers through monthly procurement plans. - Other duties as assigned by the supervisor to enable and develop IRC programs.


- A university degree in psychology or counselling with psychotherapy, clinical and/or counselling psychology work experience, or any relevant certificate like Sociology. - Minimum of (2) years of relevant work experience in psychosocial support/psychological consultation, in clinical and/or direct practice settings, preferably working with conflict-affected people. - Knowledgeable in and has used the IASC MHPSS guidelines and best practices as part of their previous work experience. - Experience and demonstrated understanding of working with a refugee or internally displaced communities. - Understanding of mental health and psychosocial issues. - Knowledge of standard legal procedures. - Experience in PSS sessions with children, women. - Personal qualities: Team player, flexible, well organized, network-builder, able to handle pressure well and work in cross-cultural setting. - Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure. - High level at communication skills. - Skills with good level at Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and Outlook).

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

- Strong communication skills demonstrated ability to liaise with Mental Health beneficiaries, partner organizations strong written and oral communication skills, with ability to communicate effectively with different type of people. - Demonstrated organizational, management and reporting skills. - Works well in teams and promotes teamwork, flexible and able to handle pressure and conflict well in a calm and constructive manner. - Ability to work under pressure with competing priorities and deadlines. - Strong problem-solving skills with ability to be flexible, adaptable, and creative in a challenging and fast-moving multicultural environment. - A commitment to the IRC’s mission, vision, values and IRC Way – Professional Code of Conduct. - Validated sense of professional discretion, integrity, and ability to handle complex situations diplomatically and to effective resolution. - Excellent management and interpersonal skills and a solid ability to promote harmonious/cohesive teamwork, in a cross-cultural context. - Demonstrated belief in gender equality and enthusiastic commitment to the safety and empowerment of women and children. - Comfortable speaking about sensitive topics in an honest, professional, and thoughtful manner. - Always maintain confidentiality and respect for clients. - Demonstrated capacity to perform well under pressure with overlapping deadlines in a challenging environment.


Fluency in Arabic. English is preferred.

Travel: 100% in the field site (IRC Health Facility in Areesha camp), as well as attending all workshops and meetings, when required.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: MHPSS Snr. Officer Position directly supervises:

Indirect Reporting (If applicable): MHPSS Manager Key Internal Contacts:

Key External Contacts:

Professional Standards: IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality. In accordance with these values, IRC operates and carries out policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a citizen of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Middle East Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.

Accountability to Clients: IRC staff must adhere to the commitment of contributing to the sustainability and development of its (CR) Client Responsiveness Mechanisms, preserving the culture of prioritizing the needs of our clients and affected communities by systematically listening to their perspectives and using their feedback to make programmatic decisions and give them greater influence over program design and delivery.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Diversity and Inclusion: at IRC MENA, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. Organizations that are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, nationality, and perspective are validated to be better organizations. More importantly, creating a safe workspace environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best is the right thing to do. So, bring your whole self to work.

IRC is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, respectful and safe work environment where all persons are treated fairly, with dignity and respect. In keeping with our core values of Integrity, Service, Accountability and Equality, IRC strives to maintain a work environment built on mutual respect in which all individuals treat each other professionally, and free of bias, prejudice, and harassment. IRC expressly prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or bullying of IRC Persons in any work setting. All IRC staff, wherever they are located, are accountable for creating an environment free of discrimination, harassment, bullying, and retaliation.

Added 8 days ago - Updated 3 hours ago - Source: