Bangladesh: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) describes any type of local or outside support that aims to protect or promote psychosocial well-being and/or prevent or treat mental disorder. It is therefore, by definition, a multi-sectoral issue. Within the work of UNHCR and partners, MHPSS activities do not constitute a separate sector, but are mainly realized within existing sectors and work fields such as health, nutrition, community-based protection, child protection, and SGBV. The main task of the MHPSS team is to build and maintain capacity for MHPSS interventions within UNHCR and partners in order to foster delivery of quality MHPSS interventions for refugees and surrounding host communities. The Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer supports UNHCR's efforts to ensure that MHPSS is well integrated in the health and protection responses. The incumbent supports UNHCR's efforts to comply with internal guidance such as the Operational Guidance for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programming in Refugee Operations (2013) and international minimum standards, including interagency guidance for mental health and psychosocial support such as the IASC Guidelines for MHPSS in Emergency Settings (2007) and Mental Health Standard in the Sphere Handbook (2018) The Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Officer is part of the Public Health unit and receives direct supervision and guidance from the Senior Public Health Officer or the Senior Field/Technical Coordinator depending on the office setup. Close functional linkages for technical guidance and support will be established with the Regional Senior Public Health Officer and (if available) the Regional Senior Mental Health Officer or the Senior Mental Health Officer in Geneva.

The incumbent leads a multidisciplinary MHPSS team which may consist of international and national staff. S/he will set up and co-chair the MHPSS coordination and planning meetings within UNHCR and will establish appropriate consultative mechanisms for MHPSS integration within health, protection and education. S/he will represent UNHCR in interagency MHPSS technical meetings and work planning, and will demonstrate solid technical leadership around MHPSS. The incumbent will oversee and supervise MHPSS activities, provide strong technical guidance and training to partners, monitor and evaluate programmes and provide partners with supportive feedback to improve the MHPSS activities. MHPSS is not a sector, and therefore accountability for the MHPSS activities within sectors remains within the respective sectors.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Ensure MHPSS activities for the refugee population by UNHCR and partners are executed in line with internal UNHCR guidance and according to international and interagency standards.
  • Ensure the MHPSS team applies UNHCR¿s policies, standards and procedures constantly and coherently.
  • Establish MHPSS coordination mechanisms with all relevant partners.
  • Ensure a system for capacity building and supportive supervision for MHPSS by UNHCR staff and partners.
  • Ensure that mental health data are integrated in the Health Information System (HIS) and that reports for MHPSS activities by partners and UNHCR staff will be systematically assembled and assessed.
  • Conduct assessment missions and implement evaluation activities around MHPSS.
  • Support the development and implementation of an MHPSS strategic plan within the AoR with cross sectoral links.
  • Support the programming exercise to draw proposals and budgets related to MHPSS within the AoR.
  • Provide technical assistance to UNHCR and implementing partners within in development, integration and mainstreaming of appropriate and cost-effective MHPSS activities.
  • Promote inter-sectoral coordination outside and within UNHCR in all matters related to MHPSS programmes and improve coordination among partners.
  • Work closely with UNHCR programme, field and protection staff to identify priority MHPSS issues, identify gaps and overlaps in programming, address unmet needs, and orient existing activities to address priority issues.
  • Ensure that national and internationally accepted and relevant standards and policies around MHPSS are applied and adapted in close coordination with the host country and relevant UN agencies and partners.
  • Foster capacity building around MHPSS for UNHCR staff, partner staff and refugee workers, e.g. community health workers, peer educators, peer counsellors, refugee outreach volunteers.
  • Develop training plans for MHPSS, organise and act as resource person in workshops and training both in-service and on the job (coaching).
  • Promote programme evaluation and applied research around MHPSS interventions to enable identification of gaps in service provision and to promote evidence-based programming.
  • Promote strong linkages around MHPSS within units for public health, nutrition, community based-protection, child protection, SGBV, education and others.
  • Promote the use of community-based approaches, including clear involvement of persons of concern (PoC) in MHPSS programmes.
  • Work with others in UNHCR to advocate for access of refugees and other PoC to local MHPSS services and lobby for inclusion of refugees and other PoC as a specific group in government policies related to MHPSS.
  • Ensure regular update and share information within UNHCR as well as with relevant government, UN and NGO counterparts and donors.
  • Intervene with implementing partners on MHPSS issues and enforce compliance with, and integrity of, MHPSS programming within the AoR.
  • Represent MHPSS aspects of UNHCRs efforts in coordination meetings in and outside UNHCR, and delegate coordination responsibilities to other team members where required.
  • Advise on selection of implementing partners for MHPSS.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3 - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

  • Clinical Psychology;
  • *Psychiatry;
  • *Clinical Social Work; Public Health; Mental Health; Psychotherapy; or other relevant field.
    • (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses not specified (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience Essential Work experience in the relevant field, of which at least 3 years of professional experience in the humanitarian or refugee field. Extensive knowledge of public mental health and MHPSS models of promotion/prevention and treatment. Experiences and knowledge in the psychological and psychosocial response to victims of sexual violence and torture. Experience in integrated health responses, providing mental health services integrated with primary or secondary health services. Strong understanding of and working experience with refugee protection (such as community based protection, child protection and SGBV prevention and response). Knowledgeable of the latest developments and techniques in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. Experience with planning, executing and evaluating capacity building around MHPSS (training, workshops). Work experience with technical tools in around: 1) mental health integration in primary health care (such as the mhGAP Humanitarian Intervention Guide for Clinical Management of Menta, Neurological and Substance use Conditions in Humanitarian Emergencies, WHO/UNHCR, 2015), 2) Scalable psychological interventions (brief evidence based psychotherapies, such as Problem Management Plus, Interpersonal Therapy for Depression) ), 3) community-based psychosocial work. Ability to promote good working relationships among colleagues, supervisors, and the persons s/he supervises.

Desirable Experience with MHPSS coordination in humanitarian settings.

Functional Skills *WB - Organizational Psychology and/or Psychiatry CL-Multi-stakeholder Communications with Partners, Government & Community CL-Needs Assessment and Response Analysis CO-Cross-cultural communication MD-Health Information Systems (HIS) MG-Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) development SO-Networking WB - Psychosocial risk assessment and recommendation of mitigating measures (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Position Competencies

  • C001L3 - Accountability
  • Level 3 C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Level 3 C003L3 - Communication
  • Level 3 C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous
  • Learning Level 3 C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation
  • Level 3 C006L3 - Organizational Awareness
  • Level 3 M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust
  • Level 3 M002L3 - Managing Performance
  • Level 3 M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making
  • Level 3 X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3 X005L3 - Planning and Organizing
  • Level 3 X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3

How to apply

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page at - click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 38559.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for positions advertised in the Addendum 3 to March 2022 Compendium is Wednesday 20 July 2022 (midnight Geneva time).

UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Type of work