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Mental Health Advisor


Effective immediately the OCA Public Health Department of Médecins Sans Frontières is looking for a:

Mental Health Advisor (80%)

Based in Amsterdam

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent, medical, emergency relief organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical care to victims of disasters, wars and epidemics. Working together with local staff, we give direct support to the population. MSF also appeals to those in power, including governments and international organisations, and speaks out about the abuses we encounter in the course of our work.

The Public Health Department of Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) supports the overall purpose of MSF, providing medical and public health leadership for the organisation. The department is responsible for providing strategic direction and integrated advice on medical and public health issues to the field and headquarters. The PHD plays a key role in developing and maintaining the medical humanitarian identity and image of MSF-OCA, and in continuing to develop and improve intervention strategies so as to be relevant and effective.

The Public Health Department is made up of a group of generalist Health Advisors (based in Amsterdam and Berlin) and clinical and public health specialists (based in Amsterdam and London) providing expertise across a range of fields including infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health, nutrition, paediatrics, and vaccination as well as epidemiology, health promotion, laboratory, pharmaceutical quality/medical supply, and water/sanitation.


This position reports to the Coordinator for Medical Specialists for OCA PHD and works closely with Health Advisors as well as other related specialities across all three locations.


Objective(s) of the position

  • To provide expert advice and specialist support as required across MSF-OCA operations on mental health programming in collaboration with mission strategic objectives and under the coordination of the Medical Support Team for each mission;
  • To implement the operational policy (development, introduction and continuous improvement) of the OCA PHD in Mental Health intervention strategies.

Role Responsibilities:

  • Promotes the vision of the OCA PHD in the field of mental health
  • Supports design and the implementation of program activities in conjunction with field teams and the OCA PHD Medical Support Team;
  • Supports mental health program activities in the field including provision of timely technical advice on specific mental health cases when requested and technical support of the mental health officers and activity managers in MSF projects
  • Implements and supports integration of psychiatric treatment in primary health care in accordance with task-shifting model.
  • Initiates/performs operational research and literature review and analyses developments in the field of mental health in line with MSF OCA’s strategic plan and the annual plans;
  • Initiates/develops an integral and coherent policy in Mental Health care and develops guidelines, protocols, training tools, other best practice papers, etc. on mental health care related topics in order to support the overarching Mental Health care policy;
  • Gives expert advice and technical support in the department (Health Advisors and relevant Specialists) and to other departments on inter-disciplinary issues (e.g. Communications and Humanitarian Affairs on communication or advocacy initiatives) regarding mental health programs;
  • Monitors and evaluates the quality of mental health interventions in the programs to further develop MSF-OCA’s mental health policies and strategies;
  • Investigates whether there is an organisational need for information on mental health and provides this (e.g. assessments of mental health needs);
  • Executes field visits to coach, advise and support implantation on mental health and other linked specialities;
  • Represents OCA within the MSF movement on the mental health topic area as required
  • Provides training of staff on internal training courses, and ensures knowledge transfer on new policies, protocols, guidelines, etc.


Education, qualification, and experience

  • Medical doctor with specialist level qualifications in psychiatristry
  • Expert knowledge and practical experience working in mental health/psychiatric programming in different global contexts
  • Current registration/license with relevant national professional body.
  • MSF experience, 2-3 years field based experience desirable
  • Experience working in geographically dispersed team desirable
  • Commitment and passion for the goals of MSF.

Capacities and skills

  • Competent provision of expert level advice in the technical area of mental health
  • Experience with setting programmatic vision as well as  implementation including a strong ability to think strategically across a diverse portfolio of missions
  • Good people and team management skills, with a style to inspire and develop team members
  • Is able to lead and coach teams and produce timely outputs;
  • Good analytical and communication skills are essential, as well as an excellent command of the English language (oral and written communication); French or Arabic an asset (Dutch is not necessary);
  • Sensitive towards diverse cultural and professional backgrounds;
  • Enthusiastic, motivated and independent; able to work with minimal supervision;
  • Able to work under time pressure on various projects and deadlines at any given time;
  • Must be willing to live and work in the Netherlands; able to visit and support projects at short notice, and willing to spend up to 30% of time in the field; able to attend meetings in MSF offices worldwide.

MSF is a civil society initiative that brings together individuals committed to the assistance of other human beings in crisis. As such MSF is by choice (Chantilly) an association.

Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and commitment and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.


  • A challenging and exciting position in an international environment
  • A contract for one year with renewal option (subject to satisfactory performance) based on a pro rata appointment (80%) .
  • A gross monthly salary between € 3.286,- and € 4.692,- depending on professional experience, based on a fulltime appointment
  • Other benefits include 30 holidays based on a fulltime appointment and a premium-free pension plan


For additional information, please contact Melissa McRae, email:

If you believe that you fit the profile, please submit your application via the ‘Apply’ button. Please upload a letter of motivation and Curriculum Vitae in English as one combined document.

Deadline for application is August 16th 2019

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Artsen zonder Grenzen, Plantage Middenlaan, Amsterdam, Nederland
Mental Health Advisor
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