World Health Organization recruits Consultant – Mental Health  


The World Health Organization (WHO) is the United Nations system’s directing and coordinating body for health. It is in charge of taking the lead on issues pertaining to global health, establishing norms and standards, defining evidence-based policy alternatives, giving governments technical assistance, and monitoring and analyzing health trends.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant – Mental Health (Emphasis on Public Mental Health and Government Mental Health Systems and Services) 

Job ID: 2301272
Location: Anywhere (Off-site – Home based)
Schedule: Full Time
Contractual Arrangement: External consultant
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): 11 Months
Organization: HQ/ODM Office of the Director MSD

Purpose of Consultancy

  • Technical guidance to countries implementing the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health, as part of the Office of the Director for Mental Health and Substance Use.
  • Technical expertise to WHOs suicide prevention work as part of the Mental Health Unit in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.


  • The work of the Director’s Office in WHOs Department of Mental Health and Substance Use has become more ‘hands-on’ over recent years.
  • This has been a consequence of globally expanding interest in mental health, increased global advocacy about mental health, and WHOs Universal Health Coverage agenda, which prompted an accelerated focus on mental health and birth of the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health: Universal Health Coverage for Mental Health. The initiative is currently underway in 9 countries, across WHOs 6 regions, with up to a total of 12 countries likely (pending resource mobilisation efforts).  
  • The Technical Officer leading implementation of the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health on behalf of the Director, MSD, seeks a consultant to provide technical inputs for mental health country focal points, in collaboration with the relevant WHO Regional Advisors for mental health, and to ensure the Special Initiative for Mental Health work is strongly embedded to other work of WHOs Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.
  • This includes the integration of WHOs priority work in suicide prevention. 

Deliverable 1: Technical guidance to the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health, including technical inputs with regard to country-implementation.


  • Participate in weekly technical calls with WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health WHO Country Offices.
  • Provide technical inputs to at least 3 countries implementing activities for the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health, exchange of information, refinement of documentation (e.g., integration of WHO resources and guidance).
  • Guide WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health countries to deliver on their monitoring and evaluation baseline report, documented M&E plans, quarterly budget reports and 6-monthly narrative technical reports.
  • Participate in weekly calls with the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health Technical Officer and contribute to finalising reports for donors.
  • Facilitate and plan for integration of WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health with WHOs communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agendas at country, regional and headquarter (HQ) levels.
  • Increase public and donor communications resources for the WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health, such as stories, briefs and reports for WHOs Special Initiative website and donor reports.
  • Initiate at least one mission per country (i.e., at least 3 countries) to provide technical guidance to activities being implemented, with a focus on integration of mental health services in primary health facilities, alongside NCD, HIV, TB and/or Malaria programmes. 
  • Provide technical expertise, analysis and reporting to develop of at least 2 technical learning papers born from activities of WHOs Special Initiative for Mental Health, for publication by February 2024.

Deliverable 2: Technical expertise to WHOs suicide prevention work as part of the Mental Health Unit in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.


  • Develop technical papers and other resources with a focus on (i) resource mobilization for WHOs suicide prevention work and (ii) communicating and disseminating WHOs LIVE LIFE Strategy globally.
  • Provide technical guidance to WHOs Special Initiative for Mental Health countries (and subsequent regions) about appropriate actions related to suicide prevention and response activities.
  • Offer technical guidance to promote increased engagement from Ministries of Health and WHO country and regional offices to be implementing suicide prevention activities, including but not limited to: contributing to the development of national prevention strategies, advocacy for limiting access to specific means of suicide, implementing WHOs LIVE LIFE suicide prevention strategy (including orientation and capacity building), improving reporting capacity of member states with regards to self-harm and suicide behaviours. 

Qualifications, Experience, Skills and Languages
Educational Qualifications:


  • First University Degree in any of the following mental health areas: (e.g., Clinical / Counselling Psychology, Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Social Work, Cccupational Therapy).
  • Post-graduate Degree in Mental Health, Public Health or related field.  


  • 7 to 10 years of combined experience working in mental health programs in low resource settings. 
  • Experience in working with Government on mental health services development in low or middle-income countries. 
  • Experience of training mental health workers and lay-persons, including in the areas of assessment, treatment, human rights, and suicide / self-harm prevention.  
  • Experience partnering with civil society for mental health advocacy and programme implementation. 
  • Experience on the application of human rights instruments specific to mental health.  
  • Experience working in and with MHPSS in Emergencies response frameworks.  


  • Prior experience in training non-mental health professionals in mhGAP and/or brief psychological interventions.  
  • Experience of working at a global level across multiple regions simultaneously.

Skills / Knowledge:

  • A clear understanding and confidence to diplomatically operate within complex structures, such as those of WHO and Ministries of Health, will be essential.  
  • Excellent knowledge about mental health interventions, services and public health approaches and awareness of global mental health evidence, guidance and trends.  
  • Excellent knowledge about human rights instruments relevant to persons living with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities. 
  • Strong knowledge about suicide / self-harm prevention strategies, including policy-level approaches to prevention of suicide.  
  • Knowledge of MHPSS in Emergencies international guidelines (i.e., IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings) and skills to be able to navigate complexities associated with emergency-development nexus operations.  
  • Knowledge about WHOs mhGAP programme and relevant resources.  
  • In depth knowledge about global evidence and recommendations for public mental health systems transformation, such as those outlined in WHOs World Mental Health Report.
  • Research knowledge to inform systematic collection and analyses of M&E and learnings data.  Knowledge about adult-training methods for brief psychological interventions and the role-play-based competency assessment of non-specialist mental health service providers

Languages required:

  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of another UN language. 
  • Location 


  • The consultant is expected to travel.


  • Band level B – USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month (Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded)
  • Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):

Application Closing Date
22nd February, 2023 (11:59:00 PM).

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit:
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice. 
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: Link


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