Mental Health Psychosocial Counselor at International Rescue Committee

  • Full Time
  • Garissa

International Rescue Committee

Mental Health Psychosocial Counselor Job Description

As an MH Psychosocial Counselor, you will work under the guidance of the Mental Health Officer, focusing on providing essential psychosocial services to individuals, groups, and communities in Hagadera refugee camp. Your goal is to assist those affected by mental disorders, torture, and war trauma, aiming to alleviate their suffering, support their rehabilitation, and help them rebuild their lives and communities.

Key Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Mental Health Officer and in collaboration with the site team, your responsibilities include:

  1. Deliver comprehensive psychosocial counseling and Psychological First Aid (PFA) to address the mental health needs of refugees and the host community. This involves assisting individuals, groups, and communities in recovering from the traumatic effects of torture, war, and forced migration.
  2. Support the MHPSS officer in implementing community-based mental health and psychosocial interventions, including identifying and assessing the psychosocial needs of clients.
  3. Promote the availability of psychosocial counseling services and conduct individual or group counseling sessions, including psychological first aid and psychosocial support.
  4. Engage clients and caregivers in the case management process and share information effectively.
  5. Refer clients to other relevant institutions when necessary, following local referral pathways to ensure efficient case management.
  6. Plan and coordinate psychotherapy groups, including selecting group members, planning group processes, and facilitating group counseling sessions.
  7. Ensure confidentiality and ethical practices in all client interactions.
  8. Develop, plan, and conduct training and awareness sessions for the mental health department staff, community health workers, leaders, religious figures, support groups, teachers, counselors, and other stakeholders.
  9. Maintain timely and professional documentation, including psychosocial work plans, and weekly and monthly HIS reports.
  10. Keep records and statistics of daily activities, participating in team meetings to share experiences and discuss special cases with the supervisor and technical advisors.
  11. Report any challenges or issues to the line manager.
  12. Document best practices, case studies, and lessons learned for reporting and evaluation purposes.
  13. Hold regular meetings with case workers and community mobilizers to monitor progress and discuss successes and challenges.
  14. Establish a networking system with relevant partners, ministries, and community stakeholders for referrals and advocacy.
  15. Conduct psychosocial assessments and develop individual case management plans for patients in follow-up at the mental health department.
  16. Design and initiate appropriate psychosocial treatment plans for survivors of war trauma and torture suffering from PTSD through individual or small group psychotherapeutic sessions.
  17. Provide mentorship to mental health assistants in the department through continuous education, guidance, supervision, and support.
  18. Design mental health training programs for mental health workers and other stakeholders.
  19. Take charge of the mental health department in the absence of the Mental Health Officer.
  20. Sensitize, problem-solve, dialogue, and mediate with the camp’s population regarding psychosocial issues, promoting understanding and coping strategies.
  21. Develop referral pathways and encourage collaboration among local partners, leaders, organizations, and government ministries.
  22. Attend inter-agency meetings to enhance service delivery and showcase IRC’s contributions in the camp.
  23. Assist with any other related activities or duties as assigned by the supervisor.


You are responsible for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, and embodying the IRC Way principles. You also hold the team and partners accountable for their responsibilities.


You build and maintain effective relationships with your team, colleagues, community members, and external partners. You value diversity, equality, and inclusion and are approachable, a good listener, and easy to communicate with.


You develop and encourage innovative solutions to challenges.


You demonstrate honesty, openness, and transparency while maintaining the highest levels of integrity.

Key Result Areas

Your role contributes to improving the overall quality of MHPSS care for all patients and clients in Hagadera refugee camp.


  • Diploma/Degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field
  • 2-3 years of field experience within a humanitarian NGO/agency in a similar position
  • Extensive experience in providing psychotherapy to individuals and groups
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing environments and needs
  • Strong teamwork skills
  • Proficiency in English and Kiswahili
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word, Excel)
  • Resilience and the ability to work effectively in a stressful environment

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in the local community’s socio-cultural norms
  • Experience in community facilitation and mobilization
  • Fluency in the local language (Somali) is an added advantage.

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