Being a mental health officer (MHO) with Médecins Sans Frontières is an intense but rewarding job. From providing psychological first aid to survivors of natural disasters to counselling HIV patients, our MHOs play a vital role in our projects. Trauma is often the most painful aspect of surviving a conflict or disaster, or living with a disease, and mental healthcare is vital for recovery.

Your job

As a mental health officer, you will design, implement, and evaluate treatment programmes for patients with conflict-related problems and mental health conditions. Most of MSF’s mental health programmes aim to provide people in emergency and conflict areas with acute mental healthcare and psychosocial support. 

 Each programme consists of both a clinical and a social, community-based component. Mental health programmes are integrated into existing medical programmes as well as disease-specific projects targeting people with tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS or other conditions.  

A substantial part of your work will involve interdisciplinary collaboration, training and supervision of staff who carry out the psychosocial support activities, eg by building up a peer group network. Data collection, analysis and reporting are an intrinsic part of the role.

Requirements

Specialists in Psychiatry

  • a completed specialization in psychiatry is required, plus at least two years’ experience in adult psychiatry, ideally hospital and community-based care. Experience working with children and adolescent patients, forensic patients and substance abusers is an asset, highly appreciated. 
  • Availability of at least 3 to 6 months 

Psychologist/Psychotherapist

  •  a Master’s degree in Psychology is required, with specialization in clinical psychology, neuropsychology, counselling, child psychology or psychotherapy, plus 2 years of relevant work experience. 
    NB: internships cannot be counted. 
  • Availability of at least 6 to 12 months 

Psychiatric Nurses

  • a diploma in general nursing and a specialization in psychiatric nursing is required, plus 2 years of relevant work experience. 
  • Availability of at least 6 to 12 months 

Required work experience

ideally in a multidisciplinary setting: 

  • Work experience in individual and group settings 
  • Clinical work experience in hospital departments or community psychiatric care  
  • Demonstrable experience in clinical treatment of clients with trauma (PTSD) and/or with HIV/AIDS and/or tuberculosis (counselling, prevention, and care during long-time treatment) 
  • Experience in coaching and training staff 
  • Creativity and joy to work with non-professionals in a different cultural setting 
  • Work experience with survivors of sexual violence, as well as in the prevention of violence  
  • Work experience with children and adolescents 
  • Experience working with a community-oriented approach 
  • Experience creating context-oriented and culturally adequate information materials 
  • Work experience in a non-governmental organization abroad or with clients from various cultures and developing countries 
  • A good level of English is mandatory 
  • Other languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian) are an asset