Stress Counsellor

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UNDSS - Department of Safety and Security

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Application deadline 1 month ago: Monday 26 Dec 2022 at 00:00 UTC

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This is a UNV International Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as International UN Volunteer. It is normally internationally recruited only. More about UNV International Specialist contracts.

The primary goal of the United Nations Security Management System (UNSMS) is to enable the conduct of United Nations (UN) activities while ensuring the safety, security and well-being of personnel. The conditions under which UN personnel operate in the field have changed drastically over the years, particularly in light of the UN’s shift to a “stay and deliver” approach to operating in high-risk environments. This has substantially increased the number of individuals exposed to stress and critical incident stress. While many individuals who experience stress or critical incident stress can resume their daily activities with minimal or no disruption, some may encounter difficulty resuming such activities due to psychological, somatic or social reactions linked to such exposure.

The United Nations Department of Safety and Security’s (UNDSS) Critical Incident Stress Management Section (CISMS) serves as the central body responsible for ensuring the adequate and timely coordination and provision of psycho-social services to staff. Such services are provided primarily at the field level through the establishment of a Critical Incident Stress Intervention Cell (CISIC), with coordination and support provided at the headquarter level, these cells consist of professional stress counsellors supported by UN system staff trained as Peer Helpers. The cells work on preparing the staff members and teams on improving resilience to stress, improve the response to stressful situations, and aid in the recovery from stressful or traumatic events.

Within the delegated authority and under the administrative supervision of the Chief Security Adviser and the technical guidance of the CISMS Regional Stress Counsellor, the UN Volunteer Stress Counsellor, will administrate a wide range of stress management activities, actively participating in emergency preparedness in the country in collaboration with UNDSS and the UN emergency coordination group as per the UNDSS CISMS standard operational procedures on the Management of Stress and Critical Incident Stress (MSCIS). Specific responsibilities will include:

• Develop and implement a stress prevention and management plan applicable to all UN Agencies in the country. • Provide individual and group stress management and critical incident counselling sessions to the staff and dependents as/when needed, • Plan and facilitate training programmes on a variety of stress management related issues for UN personnel in the country and circulate useful reading resources related to stress. • Assist in establishing the Critical Incident Stress Intervention Cells (CISICs) including selecting Peer Helpers and Family Focal Points; facilitating peer helper training sessions (jointly with UNDSS CISMS); coordinating and following up on all relevant activities. • Liaise with existing local Staff Association to advocate for the organization of welfare activities for UN personnel. • Identify, address and follow up on high stress cases and critical incident stress cases among the UN personnel and dependents in the country. • Be willing to visit & travel regularly to the UN Offices/Sub Offices in the country in order to implement preventative stress management training activities and offer technical consultations when needed. • Collaborate with UN managers, agency counsellors, medical doctors, local experts and institutions on psychosocial issues with the objective of establishing a network of professionals ready to support and intervene in case of need. • Under the guidance of the CISMS Regional Stress Counsellor, coordinate all critical incident stress management activities with relevant stakeholders, including UN staff counsellors in the country and in neighboring countries, Peer Helpers, Family Focal Points, Mental Health Professionals etc. • Advise UN management on stress mitigating strategies and activities. • Perform ongoing psychosocial needs assessments and monitor the determinants of stress in UN personnel, including activities such as data collection, analyses, resource mapping and coordinating collective psychosocial capacity across UN agencies and partners. • Provide monthly reports to the Chief Security Adviser with copies to UNDSS CISMS on all his/her activities.

Results/expected outputs

As an active UNDSS team member, efficient, timely, responsive, client-friendly and high-quality support rendered to UNSMS and its partners in the accomplishment of her/his functions, including expert knowledge in the field of stress management and counselling; demonstrated adaptability and ability to work in austere, insecure environments and to adjust rapidly to varying social, organizational and geographic settings; good conceptual skills in mental health programming and/or public health; proven ability to provide counselling in stress and stress related issues and treat sensitive or confidential information appropriately; in depth understanding of the strategic directions in critical incident stress management. Candidate also shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observes deadlines and achieving results; motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•Teamwork: Coordinates and works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

•Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

•Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; Asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; Tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

•Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

stress counselling, clinical psychology, psychiatry, or related field, at a national level with cross border experience is required. International experience would be an asset. • Qualifying years of experience are calculated after the receipt of an accredited advanced level degree recognized by the United Nations. • Experience in crisis coordination and emergency response would be highly desirable.

Addis Ababa (meaning new flower) the capital and largest city of Ethiopia is the duty station of the assignment. With a population of about 4.8 million, it is situated at 2,355m above sea level (it is advisable to take precautionary measures to avoid some health problems that might occur because of high altitude). With an average high-temperature of 20°C (68°F) and an average low-temperature of 10°C (53.6°F), days are mild to warm year-round with cooler nights (Warm dressing including cardigans/warm jackets is advised). March-April is the small rainy season while mid-June to September is the peak rainy season. The time zone in Ethiopia is East Africa Time (EAT) (UTC+03). Getting to Addis Ababa is easy as Ethiopia has the oldest Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) which is the flag carrier of Ethiopia. During the past seventy plus years, Ethiopian has become one of the continent's leading carriers, unrivalled in Africa for efficiency and operational success, turning profits for almost all the years of its existence. Ethiopian currently serves 100 international and 21 domestic destinations operating the newest and youngest fleet.

Addis Ababa is often referred to as the diplomatic city as it is the seat of the Head Quarters for both the African Union (previously the Organisation of African Unity) and the UNECA (including other programmes and agencies of the UN) as well as various Continental and International organisations and Embassies. While searching for a home, visitors have many options for temporary accommodations such as high to mid-end hotels, luxury apartments and guest houses. The city has many International and national hotels and restaurants boasting a wide variety of cuisines, several museums and recreational parks and malls. Depending on family needs, there about 10 international schools. Over 12 National banks cater to local and expatriate residents. The commercial bank in ECA caters for banking services for international staff.

Ethiopian culture is conservative with a majority of Orthodox Christians, followed my Muslims and Protestants. It is important to be polite and respectful. Dress code should be on the formal side in the city during work hours and moderately conservative after work hours. Alcohol is allowed in the country.

There are recurrent cases of water borne diseases (Typhoid, Amoeba, Acute Watery Diarrhea) among others that occur from time to time, but this is very much dependent on personal hygiene. Malaria is present in the country but limited to the low land areas of the south where the altitude is below 2000m. This is not the case with Addis Ababa. Infectious diseases like measles, hepatitis A, B, and C, meningitis, HIV are also common and depend on the risky behavior practiced without adequate protection for some of the diseases. Health care facilities in Addis Ababa are reasonable for basic care of minor health problems, elsewhere health care facilities are extremely poor. The United Nations Health Care Center is an outpatient health care facility located in the UNECA compound for staff and their dependents. Visitors to Ethiopia should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in the country.

Ethiopia is a culturally diverse and unique country. It provides for an interesting and enriching environment, but also requires a mature level of cultural awareness, as well as more stamina and commitment than elsewhere to make life comfortable and affordable. Therefore, flexibility and the ability and willingness to live and work in harsh and potentially hazardous conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort, are essential.

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