PAHO Staff Counsellor

WHO - World Health Organization

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Application deadline in 6 days: Friday 27 May 2022 at 21:59 UTC

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This is a P-4 contract. This kind of contract is known as Professional and Director staff. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's a staff contract. It usually requires 7 years of experience, depending on education.


The salary for this job should be between 140,185 USD and 180,739 USD.

Salary for a P-4 contract in Washington D.C.

The international rate of 90,970 USD, with an additional 54.1% at this the location, applies.

Please keep in mind that the salary displayed here is an estimation by UN Talent based on the location and the type of contract. It may vary depending on the organization. The recruiter should be able to inform you about the exact salary range. In case the job description contains another salary information, please refer to this one.

More about P-4 contracts and their salaries.


This requisition is for employment at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO)

The Department of Human Resources Management (HRM) supports PAHO’s mission of working in and with countries towards the improvement of health and quality of life in the countries of the Americas through strategic, innovative and variable human resources practices, policies, programs and services to attract, engage and retain highly qualified, talented staff committed to excellence, mutual respect and trust.


Under the general supervision of the Director, Human Resources Management (HRM), and the direct supervision of the Medical Director, Health and Well-being (HRM/WB), the incumbent is responsible for, but not necessarily limited to, the following assigned duties:

  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive personnel-focused mental health program and related policies for the Organization;
  2. Provide culturally appropriate independent clinical assessment of mental health and counselling needs of personnel with stress-related and psychological problems; provide brief supportive counselling and crisis intervention; provide referrals to external mental health providers; conduct resiliency briefings; provide case management referrals to other resources as required;
  3. Work closely with multidisciplinary teams to identify and address psychosocial risks faced by personnel at the individual, unit and organizational levels;
  4. Advocate for enhanced institutional responsiveness on issues related to the psychological wellbeing of personnel;
  5. Provide pre- and post-deployment/assignment briefings to staff being deployed to emergency or hardship duty stations;
  6. Develop policies and guidelines, as well as other written and visual materials to increase awareness regarding important issues and topics related to the mental health of personnel;
  7. Provide counselling to individuals who have been subjected to gender-based or domestic violence, and refer to appropriate external resources as necessary to ensure delivery of quality care;
  8. Provide independent consultations to managers on sensitive and delicate issues regarding staff with stress-related problems affecting work; coordinate and manage interventions with managers and work groups following critical incidents; conduct work group stress assessments & interventions, under the overall supervision & guidance of the Medical Director;
  9. Develop and deliver major training and workshops to personnel at all levels;
  10. When requested, work closely with managers/supervisors towards improving the working atmosphere in their units, in close coordination with Office of the Ombudsman;
  11. Provide counselling services to individuals and/or groups during emergencies; provide services in a timely and sensitive manner to staff and dependents after critical incidents, and ensure follow up support for staff and dependents following critical events;
  12. Develop and provide a range of trainings and programs including but not limited to team building, resilience, and cross-cultural sensitivity to improve morale, health, and team dynamics, based on data trends and requests from other departments/units/offices;
  13. Health Promotion Activities:
    1. Develop and deliver autonomously, group presentations (live and online) on stress-related topics including but not limited to: 1) stress management, 2) work-life balance, 3) organizational change, 4) life transition, and 5) relaxation.
    2. Coordinate presentations by local subject matter experts. Deliver programs in coordination with HRM/WB and other internal stakeholders and in times convenient for staff in multiple locations (at times outside of region);
  14. Identify and liaise with existing high-quality local and regional mental health resources that can be used for referrals or in times of crisis;
  15. Be proactive in building partnerships with but not limited to HRM, Ethics, Ombudsman office, Staff Association, Security (GSO) and other departments that support staff within the organization and also with other external agencies or relevant organizations;
  16. Coordinate services with UN counselors, particularly in the context of critical incident response, to deliver care;
  17. Participate and collaborate in UN Staff and Stress Counsellor Group (UNSSCG), and the UN Critical Incident Stress Management Unit (CISMU) activities and working groups;
  18. Complete administrative duties such as maintain statistics on activities and completing reporting requirements;
  19. Maintain the highest ethical standards related to the provision of psychological and/or counselling services, including but not limited to confidentiality; practicing within the scope of one’s experience and training; maintaining competencies through ongoing continuing education; and undertaking appropriate clinical supervision;
  20. Perform other related duties, as required.



Essential: A bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to mental health, and a master’s degree in psychology or psychiatry from a recognized university. Must possess certification in clinical psychology and be licensed to practice in a WHO or PAHO Member State for the last 5 years.

Desirable: A PhD in a related field would be an asset. Training in psychological first aid, crisis and trauma management, conflict resolution and/or cross-cultural communication, alcohol/substance abuse, global mental health or stress management, would be assets.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO, only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: PAHO will also use the databases of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and College Navigator, found on the website of the National Centre for Educational Statistics, to support the validation process.


Essential: Nine years of combined national and international work experience in psychological counselling of which at least 3 years should be in post-graduate clinical individual/group counselling /mental health.

Desirable: Experience in an occupational setting would be an asset.


PAHO Competencies:

  • Overall attitude at work: Maintains integrity and takes a clear ethical approach and stance; demonstrates commitment to the Organization’s mandate and promotes the values of the Organization in daily work and behavior; is accountable for work carried out in line with own role and responsibilities; is respectful towards, and trusted by, colleagues and counterparts.
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences: Relate well to diversity in others and capitalize on such diversity - Relates well to diversity in others and capitalizes on such diversity. Treats all people with dignity and respect. Relates well to people with different cultures, gender, orientations, backgrounds and/or positions; examines own behavior to avoid stereotypical responses; considers issues from the perspective of others and values their diversity.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and cooperate with others - Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve and build rapport; helps others when asked; accepts joint responsibility for the team’s successes and shortcomings.
  • Communication: Express oneself clearly when speaking/Listen/Write effectively/Share knowledge - Foresees communication needs of audience and targets message accordingly. Facilitates open communication; encourages others to share their views openly and takes time to understand and consider their views. Writes down ideas in a clear, structured, logical and credible way; drafts and supports the development of guidelines, policies and procedures. Shares relevant information openly and ensures that the shared information is understood; considers knowledge sharing as a constructive working method and demonstrates awareness of the Organization.
  • Producing Results: Work efficiently and independently/Deliver quality results - Monitors own and others’ work in a systematic and effective way, ensuring required resources and outputs. Aligns projects with Organization’s mission and objectives. Consistently solves own and team’s problems effectively as needed. Proactively engages in projects and initiatives, accepting demanding goals, in line with Organizational Strategies and Program of Work. Demonstrates accountability for work of team and sets an example, while explicitly articulating lessons learnt for own and team’s benefit.
  • Setting an example: Act professionally and ethically/ Be trustworthy - Works ethically to achieve individual work objectives under 'PAHO Regulations and Rules and the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service. Maintains confidentiality and treats sensitive information with discretion; ensures that policies and procedures are followed in accordance with the Organization's professional, ethical and legal standards. Stands by own decisions and actions and accepts responsibility for them. Acts in an open and transparent manner when dealing with others; stands by own and/ team’s decisions or actions and accepts responsibility for them. Acts to promote the Organization’s success.

Technical Expertise:

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge and awareness of the latest developments in the areas of clinical psychology, psychotherapy and counselling.
  • Demonstrated excellence in clinical judgment and decision-making.
  • Ability to effectively manage crisis situations which involve diverse actors and stakeholders
  • Ability to collect and interpret psycho-social data, as a basis for policy development and resource management.
  • Ability to work harmoniously as a team member in a multidisciplinary and international environment; demonstrated expertise working with multicultural population.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information with discretion while maintaining full confidentiality; ability to interact with personnel with tact, respect and courtesy.
  • Strong professional oral and writing skills, including the development of reports, oral presentations, and technical/persuasive documents for consideration at the highest levels of the Organization.


Fluency in English and Spanish. Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.

IT Skills:

Demonstrated ability to effectively use current technology and software, spreadsheets and presentations, as well as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and management information systems. Other IT skills and knowledge of software programs such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, OneDrive, PowerPoint, Teams, SharePoint, and Word are considered essential.


Monthly Salary****: (Net of taxes)

USD$6,300.17 (Salary non-negotiable)

Post Adjustment****:

USD$3,408.39 - This amount is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates to fill other similar short-term professional positions, at the same grade level.
  • Candidates will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration. A written test and/or interview will be held for this position as a form of screening.
  • The post description is the official documentation for organization purposes.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to PAHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and e-Manual.
  • For information on PAHO please visit:
  • PAHO/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • PAHO is an ethical organization that maintains high standards of integrity and accountability. People joining PAHO are required to maintain these standards both in their professional work and personal activities.
  • PAHO also promotes a work environment that is free from harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and other types of abusive behavior. PAHO conducts background checks and will not hire anyone who has a substantiated history of abusive conduct.
  • PAHO personnel interact frequently with people in the communities we serve. To protect these people, PAHO has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse. People who commit serious wrongdoing will be terminated and may also face criminal prosecution.
  • PAHO/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are encouraged.
  • All applicants are required to complete an on-line profile to be considered for this post.
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