Individual Consultant: Coordinating Mental Health Services (National Position)

  • Entry-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 2 July 2020

Job Description

Purpose of assignment & Background:

The socioeconomic impact of the pandemic has implication on mental health and well-being. Numerous employees have lost their job or are on no-pay leave. These families are losing their income and some are at risk of falling further into poverty. People from all walks of life are experiencing stress and anxiety from direct and indirect effects related to COVID and the restriction measures, and mental health services have become a critical service.

Those with pre-existing mental health issues are especially vulnerable, and their symptoms or issues can further increase. Some are showing psychological distress. Substance abuse, violence against children and domestic violence can also increase during these times. Current service providers and mental health sector inform that more people are seeking mental health services. Psychosocial helplines have been set-up, and any case with mental health history, or showing signs of it, or indicating urgency or high risk is referred to the national Center for Mental Health (CMH) at the IGMH central hospital. The current initiatives are contributing to address the long-time gap in MHPSS services outside the capital Male’, and the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating innovative and e-approaches, such as tele-MHPSS services. The CMH is the nodal entity providing remote support to the psychiatrists in the designated regional hospitals. Combined, the emerging needs require to urgent efforts to strengthen the specialized services offered at CMH, and further support the expansion of psychiatrist services to the country.

In this regard, UNICEF is seeking a national consultant to coordinate the activities at CMH in its efforts to strengthen and expand the specialized Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

Purpose of the Assignment:

With the overall aim of contributing to improved mental health coverage in the Maldives, the purpose of the assignment is to provide technical support, through a consultancy, to strengthen and expand the specialized Mental Health and Psychosocial Support.

The key objective is to strengthen and expand the specialized mental health services at Centre for Mental Health, to provide high quality mental health services to those in need.

The specific objectives of the consultancy are to:

  1. Support CMH with strengthening and expansion of specialized MHPSS services in the Maldives.
  2. Under the guidance of CMH, provide day-to-day facilitation and coordination of different components of the MHPSS: prevention initiatives, and psychosocial services, professional psychologist and psychiatrist services.
  3. Under guidance of the CMH, coordinate the delivery of quality MHPSS services in the Atolls, and contribute to the expansion of quality age and gender-sensitive services to specific populations, including children, adolescents, and survivors of abuse & domestic violence
  4. Coordinate and facilitate adoption of innovative approaches such as e-services and digitalized MH services.
  5. Under guidance of CMH, establish a referral system between public service providers, regional and atoll health services, NGOs, government establishments, and private sector.
  6. Develop a mechanism and enhance the triage system for referrals received by CMH.
  7. Assist in finalizing and operationalizing Standard Operating Procedures for CMH.
  8. Establish quality processes and mechanisms and incorporating it in to functioning of CMH.
  9. Assist in improving knowledge management, including data analytics, monitoring and research on MHPSS.

Duty station:The consultancy is based in Male’ and will be working as a core team member of the Center for Mental Health, Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Some travel within the Maldives is anticipated, on a need basis.

Supervisor: Under the direct supervision of the head for Center for Mental Health, and in close coordination with the UNICEF Programme Specialist for Health & Nutrition.

Major tasks of the Assignment:
The overall responsibility of the coordinator is to support the Center of Mental Health management team to coordinate, strengthen and expand specialized MHPSS services at the centre, ensuring provision of high quality mental health services to those in need.

The consultant work as part of the Centre for Mental Health team, and contribute to the below key tasks:

  1. Working with CMH team, strengthen access, existing services, diverse mental health, and psychosocial support services offered by CMH.
  2. With the management team of CMH, support to improve the process, systems and streamline programmes offered in CMH to ensure effective, relevant and efficient services.
  3. With guidance from CMH leadership, facilitate adaptation of MH services to adopt innovative modes such as e-services or digitalized services.
  4. Assist the CMH management to coordinate provision of supervision and support and Mental health professionals and psychiatrists (under Ministry of Health Regional Hospitals), based in the Atolls. Support to develop and implement a well-functioning coordination, feedback and information sharing mechanism between the psychiatric wings in the Atolls, HPA and CMH.
  5. With the CMH team, support the capacity building and trainings of health professionals and others on MHPSS. Assist to coordinate and implement the MHPSS orientations and training for health professionals in Male’ and Atolls.
  6. Support CMH to coordinate referral and MHPSS services, and streamline within the team (triage and referrals).
  7. Support to develop referral pathways and ability to train on child protection, PSS indicators or referrals
  8. Contribute to expansion of quality services to specific populations such as gender and child-specific MHPSS needs, survivors of abuse, domestic violence, and migrants, to ensure appropriate assistance is provided to clients.
  9. Engage in the planning of the COVID-19 pandemic response related mental health service activities to ensure integration of MHPSS response strategies
  10. Provide technical support for all MHPSS activities (strategy, design, quality, monitoring) across all relevant services and programmes, and in-line with international standards such as Inter-Agency Standing Committee on (IASC) on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, and other MH global standards
  11. ÂSupport documentation and record keeping of the services. Support to monitoring and research undertaken by CMH. Contribute to knowledge management, data analytics, management and analysis of information. E.g. information management on the key indicators, case management process, information on the support type, number, frequency, profile of clients assessing the service. Share information periodically with CMH management and UNICEF.
  12. Coordinate MHPSS preventive activities including awareness and messaging on MHPSS, self-care, sensitization on stigma, and resilience building targeted needs of specific groups (targeting the most vulnerable groups including women, children, adolescents, migrants and the elderly
  13. Enhance coordination with other MHPSS and protection services, organisation, including for the protection of women, children, survivors of violence, and other vulnerable populations.
  14. Actively liaise and build networks with relevant actors / partners working in the field.

Estimated duration of contract: The assignment will be signed for an initial period of 11.5 months between July 2020 - June 2021.

Official travel involved (itinerary and duration)

Travel outside Male’ is not foreseen, though there is a possibility based on the need, to the Atolls

Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience required

  • An advanced degree in area of Mental Health. At least a Master’s level degree in the field of mental health, such as psychology, psychotherapy or other relevant area.
  • Specialized training in MHPSS, and / or specified areas within MHPSS. Practical and technical competencies in MHPSS, or counselling and psychology, or experience in delivery of similar services will be a distinct advantage.
  • At least three to five years working of experience in mental health and psycho-social programming related to the field, at progressively high level. Experience working in MHPSS sector, and different agencies will be an asset.
  • Demonstrated as project management skills, and /or program design, monitoring and evaluation skills, including designing pathways to sustainable impact at scale.
  • Demonstrated high level of coordination of projects, programmes or initiatives, as well skills and ability to coordinate service, and facilitating teams. Excellent interpersonal skills required.
  • Excellent written and spoken Dhivehi and English; demonstrated high level of professional communication skills (oral and written)
  • Able to generate and use data and evidence to innovate, deliver, learn and share what works and what doesn’t work for children

For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

Closing Date Sun Jul 12 2020 19:00:00 GMT+0800 (China Standard Time)

About the Organization

UNICEF is out to change the world for children vaccination by vaccination, blanket by blanket, biscuit by biscuit, book by book. In most of America, these things are considered completely ordinary. But in many parts of the developing world, they can save a child's life. UNICEF is unique among world organizations and unique among those working with young people. As a global movement, we use our authority to influence decision makers and diverse partners to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. In 155 countries and territories, UNICEF's field staff uses hard-won expertise to meet the challenges facing children and those who care for them. Our history has given us a profound understanding of development and the importance of child health, education, equality and protection in advancing humanity. All that we do helps children realize their full potential. In support of UNICEF's work, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF focuses on five major priorities: education, emergencies, HIV/AIDS, immunization and malnutrition.

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