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Profession: Psychologist / Psychiatrist Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes for Families of Missing Persons

01-10-2010 Job Opportunity Ref. fd-psychologist

Location: Field

Function / raison d'être

The search of missing persons in the frame of armed conflicts is part of the mandate of the ICRC, which has been involved in this issue for several years in various contexts.

By attempting to respond to the missing persons issue and drawing from previous lessons learned from experience, we are led today to specify our operational strategy and to model our methods of action.

To this regard, and specifically concerning mental health and psychosocial support, we decide to focus our attention on the mental health and psychosocial consequences linked to the situation of disappearance.

After evaluating the current situation of families of missing, each ICRC Delegation will set activities to provide the minimum support that has to be defined according to the reality of the families' difficulties. The local network (associations, Red Cross national society branches, religious leaders, specialists, etc.) is seen as the main resource. Its capacities will need to be improved in order to properly accompany families of missing in a long term setting.

Main Responsibilities

  • Provide technical advice to ICRC delegations regarding the existent mental health and psychosocial support network, the needs of the families and the support that families should receive.
  • Implement actions of capacity building and relation building with local resources in order to provide the best possible mental health and psychosocial support to the families of missing.
  • Provide ICRC with a local analysis of the situation of the families of the missing, aiming to respect specificities of each context but attempting to provide a global analysis of the problematic, from a psychological point of view.

Main Tasks

  • Supervise, when possible, the collectors during collection of Ante Mortem Data process and ensure follow up training when appropriate.
  • Ensure the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) program implementation, which involves technical psychological support for local psychologists/psychiatrists as well the implementation of the "accompaniment" strategy based on the ICRC handbook (Accompanying Families of Missing Persons).
  • Coordinate activities run by the Field Officers (FO) involved in the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program (capacity building of local service providers).
  • Ensure, together with the FO's, the coaching, follow up and monitoring of the program implementation.
  • Define, together with each delegation the Terms of Reference of the Assistant, according to the activities to be carried out in each context.
  • Train and supervise the work of the assistants.
  • Continue assessing adequately existent local resources in each context that could provide support to the families of missing. In some contexts this is mainly related to the National Society.
  • Continue assess the needs of the families of missing, through local resources information, contacts with family association, interviewing families when appropriate.
  • Carry out a cross-check between the identified MHPSS needs and the resources/gaps present on services provided by local services.
  • Establish regular contacts with local resources and set up activities aiming to realistically reinforce the capacity of local resources for supporting families of missing in the most adequate. Provide adequate skills to specific key actors for accompanying the families of missing and define a simple monitoring system in order to evaluate the results (implementing-testing ICRC handbook on "accompanying families of missing persons")
  • Maintain a regional/local view on the problematic, taking into account specificities of each context and situation, but providing/capitalizing knowledge and practical experience for the "missing file" in a more global perspective.

Selection requirements

  • Prepared to accept an unaccompanied posting during the first 24 months of collaboration
  • Excellent knowledge of French, Spanish and/or English (written and spoken)
  • Senior Psychologist (Masters studies) or Psychiatrist
  • Experience with populations from different cultures, field experience required.
  • Knowledge of the grief process and related issue
  • Experience/knowledge in training process and supervision.
  • Experience in community-based approach and in implementing MHPSS activities.
  • International driving license (valid for manual transmission vehicles)

Your profile

  • Very good analysis and reporting capacity.
  • Autonomy, sense of initiative, flexibility.
  • Ability to work in teams, with experts of various theoretical backgrounds.
  • Communication aptitude, open-mindedness, creativity, pro-activity.

Minimum length of the assignment: 12 months

Apply now