Technical Officer (Mental Health and Psychosocial Support)

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Application deadline 17 hours ago: Wednesday 23 Jun 2021


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. More about P-4 contracts and their salaries.


The Division of Country Health Policies and Systems (CPS) assists countries in the Region with the design and implementation of appropriate health policies and systems to strengthen universal health coverage. It works to strengthen data-driven, evidence-informed, contextually tailored policy development and implementation at national, regional and local levels, taking an inclusive approach across the life course. The Division advocates strengthening of public health leadership, focusing on implementing policies that are people centred, promote health, prevent illness, and address the social and economic determinants of health, while fostering leadership on equity, human rights and gender mainstreaming in health. It focuses on building capacity for health systems innovation to enable the sustainable delivery of high-quality primary health and community services that are effectively linked to hospitals, and mental health, public health and social care services.

The Mental Health Flagship (MHF) unit will work with units and divisions across the RegionalOffice to address mental health conditions which are a leading cause of suffering and disability in the European Region. Priority areas to be addressed at regional level include the mental health fall-out of the COVID-19 crisis, a surge of diseases of despair, the persistent prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among young people, the growth of self-harm and suicide, and the unmet needs of people with dementia or autism spectrum disorder, the mental and psycho-social support needs of health workers, the need for supporting the resilience of communities affected by conflict. At country level the emphasis will be on support for services transformation.


To provide expert technical guidance, advice and support to Member States in the area of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS). To contribute to the planning and coordination of new MHPSS activities as well as to already initiated programmes in and across countries of the Region, in particular but not solely those in the Caucasus. Since this position requires regular fieldwork for assessment, capacity-building, local coordination and monitoring, the Duty Station is Baku, Azerbaijan.

Key duties:

1. In cooperation with national and international stakeholders including Ministries of Health, civil society organizations and other UN Agencies, co-develop and oversee the development, implementation and monitoring of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) action plan(s) for catering to the needs of affected populations, particularly in the countries of the Caucasus but also others affected by conflict and in response to COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Promote a system-based approach to integrate MHPSS in health and related social sectors, including: mapping of local actors and service providers; determination of optimal MHPSS strategies, opportunities and responses; mobilisation of new partners and resources; and monitoring - and revising as needed in the face of new challenges - implementation efforts and outcomes.

3. Plan, develop, implement and monitor, in coordination with the national and international stakeholders involved in the emergency response, capacity building activities at country level to respond to population mental health needs, including post-conflict and COVID-19 response and recovery contexts.

4. Liaise with national and international partners, including Country Offices of WHO and other UN agencies, to develop and implement situation analysis, assessment and monitoring systems for mental health needs and resources.

5. Provide expert technical advice to civil society organizations and other entities, as appropriate, on relevant issues related to instituting a robust MHPSS program.

6. Provide technical input to national strategic plans, international MHPSS guidance materials and other technical documents, including policy briefings, situational assessment and implementation evaluation reports.

7. Oversee the overall timeliness and quality of all program deliverables, the finalization of operational transactions in accordance with the MHPSS operational workplan, assure compliance with WHO rules and regulations, and efficiently deliver related services/products within the country.

8. Perform any other related incident-specific duties, as required by the supervisor.



Essential: University degree (Master's level or above) in psychiatry, psychology, or a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) related field. Desirable: Post-graduate qualification in any of the above fields or specialized training in public health and/or MHPSS in emergency and humanitarian crises.


Essential: At least seven years of relevant experience, at the national and international levels, in the assessment, development and implementation of policies, strategies and action plans for MHPSS in the context of emergencies. Demonstrated experience in capacity building, developing and promoting collaborative partnerships. Desirable: Experience working with either cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT). Experience working for or with a Government Ministry of Health in a low- or middle-income country. Relevant work experience in WHO, other UN agencies, relevant non-governmental or humanitarian organizations.


Excellent knowledge of WHO's mission, goals and policies.

Demonstrated knowledge of international policy frameworks for reduction of public health problems related to mental health in emergency settings, and implementation for reduction of public health problems related to mental health in (post-) emergency settings.

Demonstrated ability to provide expert advice on the development and implementation of MHPSS policies and programmes in the prevention and treatment of mental, neurological and substance use disorders in emergency settings.

Emotional awareness; the ability to identify and harness one's emotions and apply them to tasks; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one's own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.

Ability to work comfortably in a fast-paced environment.

WHO Competencies

Teamwork Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Communication Moving forward in a changing environment Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of either French, Russian or German.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 74,913 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 1885 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.

  • 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.

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