MHPSS Coordinator - Caribbean

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MHPSS Coordinator - Caribbean

About International Medical Corps: International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs. Established in 1984 by volunteer doctors and nurses, International Medical Corps is a private, voluntary, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life through health interventions and related activities that build local capacity in underserved communities worldwide. By offering training and health care to local populations and medical assistance to people at highest risk, and with the flexibility to respond rapidly to emergency situations, International Medical Corps rehabilitates devastated health care systems and helps bring them back to self-reliance.

Program Background: On September 20, 2017, one of the strongest hurricanes, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico causing significant widespread damage. Because of this hurricane 100% of the island lost electric power, and 60% of potable water. Limitation of physical access was experienced by all the 78 municipalities, more than 250,000 homes and structures destroyed and 92.7% of the communication towers fallen. Maria forced 11,229 people to seek refuge in the 158 emergency shelters establish by the government. People dependent on oxygen, bed-ridden, insulin dependent, mental health patients, children, elderly did not get access to health services; the health system collapses; authorities reported more than a hundred-death caused by direct or indirect impact, but follow up studies report that thousands of dead has been produce by this hurricane. As most other critical infrastructure, the health care system was then struggling to operate and now to recover. Across Puerto Rico there are nearly 90 Community Health Centers (CHCs) operating in 58 municipalities. These CHCs provide community-based services such as primary care, mental health, dental health, vision, pharmacy, substance abuse, laboratories and emergency rooms. CHCs were some of the first medical facilities to come back online following Maria’s landfall and have consistently demonstrated their value as essential partners during emergency healthcare responses. Before Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico it tore through many other islands, including the US Virgin Islands, where it caused widespread damage and destruction. As was the case in Puerto Rico, a large percentage of the local population were displaced from their normal access to healthcare services and were fortunate to have local Community Health Centers to rely upon. Today, International Medical Corps is working with the Puerto Rico Primary Care Association to address the ongoing needs of those impacted by Hurricane Maria. In addition, International Medical Corps is also supporting Community Health Centers in the US Virgin Islands who also continue to recover from the storm’s impacts.

Job Summary: The MHPSS Coordinator - Caribbean will be responsible for overseeing the program activities linked with mental health and psychosocial support across all program sites. They will additionally be the key focal point for any local partners or external engagement that is MHPSS focused within the Caribbean program. They will guide and oversee all MHPSS activities with community based health centers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to improve the access, quality, and provision of mental health available to vulnerable populations. This includes that all assessments, trainings, curriculums, and guidance that is provided is in line with global guidelines, culturally appropriate and linked with existing services, supports or systems that exist in the program sites. The MHPSS Coordinator will provide mental health training to community based health centers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to improve the access, quality, and provision of mental health available to vulnerable populations International Medical Corps’ approach to mental health is heavily based on training and developing the capacity of local partners; the successful candidate will therefore have experience in training, mentorship and in building referral links to other formal service providers and informal community supports. Vulnerable populations are at risk in emergency situations to displacement, health issues, stressors and limited access to appropriate care and support, including people with existing mental health conditions or for some who might develop mental health problems due to the emergency. Healthcare staff have very limited training in providing psychosocial support post-disaster, especially to vulnerable populations like older persons and children. Currently, they rely on referrals to clinic-based psychologists, which can be challenging for vulnerable populations to access. Lack of training and skills may also lead to further stigmatization and isolation of vulnerable populations experiencing mental health issues. The MHPSS trainer will provide mental health training to community based health centers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to improve the access, quality, and provision of mental health available to vulnerable populations. The curricula and associated training materials will be designed in consultation with key stakeholders, the IMC Caribbean MHPSS Coordinator and IMC MHPSS Technical Advisors. Training content will be consistent with evidence-based WHO materials and IASC Guidelines, with topics including Psychological First Aid; recognizing signs of distress and disorder; providing basic psychosocial support to vulnerable populations in distress; providing appropriate referral to other services as needed; and principles of MHPSS in emergency settings. Additionally, the IMC Caribbean MHPSS Coordinator will be the main focal point to the headquarters based IMC MHPSS Technical Advisors in order to receive technical assistance and to ensure that the program is in line with IMC MHPSS Minimum Technical Quality Standards.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: GENERAL 1. Conduct MHPSS needs assessment to identify and prioritize training needs relating to vulnerable populations mental health and wellbeing among health workers, using key informant interviews, focus groups, a review of relevant policies and literature. 2. Develop and adapt training curricula and materials for community health workers, school staff, and parents/guardians based on the results of the needs assessment. 3. Lead on the planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of MHPSS activities in different sites. 4. Implement MHPSS orientation sessions and training workshops through presentations, group discussions and small-group activities. 5. Participate and represent the MHPSS program in regular staff meetings, meetings with donors, regional meetings and national meetings as required. 6. Conduct routine project needs assessments and program reviews to ensure successful implementation and donor compliance 7. Manage MHPSS activities, ensuring there is adequate cover during periods of absence, training needs are met and performance evaluated. 8. Provide guidance and support on MHPSS to partners and M&E staff when required by the program. 9. Ensure link and coordination between MHPSS department, and other sector areas of work. 10. Participate and represent MHPSS program in regular staff meetings, meetings with donors, regional meetings etc. 11. Liaise closely with any new or previous sub grantees. 12. Implement the project in line with IMC and global MHPSS standards and guidelines, and coordinate closely with the IMC Technical Unit Global Mental Health Advisor for development and review of training materials and reports.

EXTERNAL COORDINATION 1. Represent International Medical Corps at relevant coordination meetings (PAHO, Ministry of Health, etc.). 2. Liaise and collaborate with existing government structures and local authorities organizing MHPSS activities. 3. If needed, co-chair existing interagency Mental Health and Psychosocial Support reference group together with representatives from other agencies and organizations. 4. Work to improve interagency coordination, sharing of information, and promote MHPSS guidelines, best practices and MHPSS reference group endorsed materials and resources. This includes planning joint assessments and response strategies. 5. Identify or work with suitable local partner organizations and institutions for joint MHPSS work. 6. Identify and where appropriate collaborate with existing formal and informal community leaders and service providers.

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT 1. Take a lead in MHPSS program development and proposal writing. 2. Develop the strategy and mechanisms to integrate a mental health and psychosocial support into IMC programs in keeping with IASC guidelines of mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies.

REPORTING 1. The MHPSS Coordinator reports directly to the Caribbean Team Lead and receives technical support from global MHPSS advisors. 2. Establish systematic data collection for reports. 3. Take a lead in writing MHPSS section of all donor reports. 4. Submit data required for donor reports, and monthly reports.

MONITORING, EVALUATION & REPORTING 1. Develop and implement MHPSS Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tools, including pre- and post-training assessments and training evaluation forms, in collaboration with partners and the IMC Global M&E and Mental Health Technical Advisors. 2. Regularly analyze and review program data to ensure successful implementation of the program and donor compliance. 3. Support the collection and reporting of MHPSS program data. 4. Maintain regular transparent communication with Team Lead and provide accurate updates on program implementation, challenges and development.

COMPLIANCE & ETHICS 1. Promote and encourage a culture of integrity, compliance and ethics among program staff. 2. Maintain a clear understanding of International Medical Corps’ Code of Conduct and Security Protocols and adheres to those standards and protocols. 3. Communicates these values to staff and to partners and requires them to adhere to these values. Skills and Qualifications • The qualified candidate will be a mental health professional with MA/S or equivalent in social science – psychology, clinical social work or sociology – with knowledge of human rights, international development, public health or other relevant field; • Knowledgeable in and has used the IASC MHPSS and GBV/CP guidelines and best practices as part of their previous work experience. • Minimum of 5 years (of which at least 2 in the field) of progressively responsible professional experience in humanitarian work, and substantial experience in MHPSS, including in emergencies. • Demonstrable technical expertise in the assessment of and design and delivery of responses to pre-existing and emergency induced MHPSS needs. • Training experience required; capacity and proven track record in national staff and partner training. • Knowledge of MHPSS Case Management and Integration of MH into PHC approaches. • Experience in working in the region is a plus. • Strong organizational and supervisory skills • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work within different cultural environments • Ability to work within a team structure or in isolation, flexible, and can cope with stressful workloads and working with limited resources • Ability to travel on short notice to project sites • English language proficiency is required. • Fluency in Spanish. • Must be authorized to work in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

International Medical Corps is a ‘first-responder’ both to natural and men-made disasters and has a mandate of working in remote locations. The organization has a comprehensive security management policy and plan in place and committed to do everything possible within its remit to ensure safety and security. Notwithstanding, the mandate and programming choices of International Medical Corps require staff with high degree of resilience, extremely decisive quality and ability to move fast. International Medical Corps is proud to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or status as a veteran.

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