TITLE: Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Consultant
DEPARTMENT: African & Middle East Programs
LOCATION: Blantyre, Malawi
REPORTS TO: Program Manager – African Parks Partnership,
MHPSS Technical Advisor (matrix reporting)
ASSIGNMENT TYPE: 6-month consultancy
Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster. Each year, Americares reaches more than 90 countries, including the United States, with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org.
In Malawi, Americares is collaborating with four government-supported health centers to improve health services and health outcomes. Americares is also partnering with conservation NGO African Parks to extend the reach of health services offered in the catchment areas of the nearby Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park.
Due to the economic and emotional hardships connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in suicides, and the prevalence of gender-based violence and child abuse in Malawi, Americares is developing its mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) program to address these concerns and to strengthen MHPSS services at both the clinic and community levels.
Americares is looking for a MHPSS technical consultant to respond to these various MHPSS needs in Malawi. The 6-month position is based out of Blantyre, Malawi and would require close collaboration with multiple stakeholders, especially those from the Ministry of Health, to conduct a needs assessment, analysis MHPSS strengths and gaps in the districts where Americares works, and to develop and implement MHPSS training for mental health and non-mental health practitioners.
The consultant will be required to travel frequently to the following locations: Zomba Mental Hospital, District Health Offices and Hospitals (Chikwawa, Balaka, Machinga) and to remote rural health centers (Epicenter 1, Chapananga, Namanolo, Mangamba). Depending on the findings from the needs assessment, community visits work may be needed and the consultant may address MHPSS needs and training directly with community members.
DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, & DELIVERABLES:
Potential duties, responsibilities, and deliverables include but may not be limited to:
- Co-designing an MHPSS needs assessment based on the current assessment available.
Conducting an MHPSS needs assessment for: Zomba Mental Hospital; Machinga DHO, Balaka DHO, Chikwawa, DHO; Mangamba, Namanolo, Chapananga, and Epicenter 1 health centers; and in communities as needed.
- Analyzing needs assessment findings with the MHPSS Technical Advisor to develop MHPSS priorities and work plan.
- Designing and implementing MHPSS training, with the MHPSS Technical Advisor, relevant to the findings in the needs assessment.
- Developing technical resources and manuals (curriculum, agendas, training schedules, learning resources, etc.) for MHPSS programing that align with government policies and guidelines.
- Coordinating with the Ministry of Health to develop technical resources (job aids, training manuals, etc.) that integrate key MHPSS principles and responses into ongoing health service delivery provided at government-supported district hospitals and health centers.
- Coordinating with the Ministry of Health, African Parks, and other partners to provide appropriate training and support to mental health and non-mental health practitioners.
- Collaborating with Americares US-based staff to manage project deliverables.
- Attending weekly coordination calls with the Malawi field team and Headquarters staff.
- Collaborating with Americares MHPSS technical unit and M&E teams to ensure high quality of project deliverables.
- Writing and submitting monthly progress reports.
- Coordinating with Americares Malawi field team for operational, administrative, and program activities as needed and relevant for the work.
CORE AMERICARES VALUES:
- Responsiveness, results-oriented, collaborative, accountable, effective, and integrity.
- Coach, support, and develop partners, staff, and community members to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the project.
- Develop and manage implementation of plans to increase department operating performance, including SOPs and other efficiency initiatives.
- Genuine interest in helping to improve the lives and health of people affected by poverty and disaster so that they can reach their full potential.
- At least 5+ years of progressive experience in mental health and/or psychosocial support
- An advance degree in Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing, Social Work or related mental health related profession
- Experience designing and conducting needs assessments
- Experience designing and implementing mental health related technical training to a wide variety of clients
- Experience developing training manuals and materials
- Project management experience
- Experience collaborating with government, NGO, and private-sector partners
- Experience working on teams from multiple geographies
- Based in Southern sub-Saharan Africa region with ability to travel to and work in Malawi
- Prepared to work in resource-limited environments with significant time spent in the field.
- Strong written and spoken English language skills
- Proficient in Microsoft applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook
- 8+ years of experience in mental health and/or psychosocial support
- Based in the Southern Region of Malawi (Blantyre or Zomba preferred)
- Chichewa language skills (spoken)
- Dedicated to supporting the MHPSS needs in rural communities
- Passion for Americares mission
- Strong organizational, analytical and problem-solving skills
- Strong communication skills