Mental Health Specialist Needed in Sierra Leone  


CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. Based on its Christian values and over 100 years of professional expertise, CBM addresses poverty as a cause and a consequence of disability, and works in partnership to create a society for all. CBM’s vision is: “an inclusive world in which all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential”.
CBM works with persons with disabilities, their families, local partner organisations, alliance partners including UN agencies, global organisations, and Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs).
CBM has been involved from the outset with "VISION 2020: The Right to Sight", a global initiative with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020, and other global initiatives such as the provision of affordable hearing aids, education for all and community mental health.
CBM is also recognised as a collaborating organisation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Together with its partner organisations, CBM is active in 700 projects in 70 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and currently reaches more than 24 million people.
CBM’s International Office in Bensheim is accepting applications for a
Mental Health Specialist
Location: Makeni or Freetown, Sierra Leone
Contract Duration: 2 years (with a possibility to extend 2 more years)
Objective: Sierra Leone suffers from a severe shortage of health professionals, particularly in mental health. Under the umbrella of the local partner organisation, the University of Makeni, the job holder will develop local professionals through courses, training, and supervision. He/she will also support other local partners, and advocate for increased government prioritisation for mental health, including investment in services and employment of more professionals.
Reporting to the Director of the University of Makeni, the Mental Health Specialist has to fulfil the following tasks:
  • Work with local colleagues to produce a curriculum for the Psychiatric Nurse Training Programme at COMAHS, and provide input into the training programme of General Nurses and Community Health Officers (in Bo).
  • Support the Government of Sierra Leone (particularly MOHS) by providing regular training and supervision for Community Psychiatric Nurses placed at District level. Also to advise, as requested, on government policy and service implementation.
  • Develop skills of other local professionals (e.g. newly appointed psychiatrists, nurses in Psychiatric Hospital, Kissy) to perform to a higher standard.
  • Work with the WHO country office and local professionals to ensure that the national programme follows the National Policy and Strategy, as well as the WHO’s mhGAP programme. This will include development of relevant materials and participation in evaluative research.
  • Support other local partners in implementation of their activities in the Programme (coalition building, and awareness-raising).
  • Support the partners in smooth administration of the project, particularly ensuring that records (narrative and financial) are well maintained, facilitating high standards of reporting between partners and to the funder.
  • Take a flexible approach to participating in work that will lead to fulfilment of the overall objective of the Programme and to CBM’s aims as opportunities arise.
  • As a team member of the CBM Regional Office participate in relevant activities related to wider aspects of CBM’s work (particularly in West Africa).
Professional Profile
  • Degree in Psychiatry (i.e. Medical Doctor with specialist training in psychiatry)
  • Professional qualifications in Psychiatric Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Psychology, General Medicine or Masters in Public Health (with specific interest in mental health) will also be considered if accompanied with significant relevant experience
  • Minimum of 3 years working in mental health
  • Experience in scaling up or developing mental health services
  • Experience in project management in Low Income Countries
  • Experience and skills in training medical professionals and non-professionals
  • Experience of writing training materials/ documentation for health or development programmes
  • Experience of advocacy / engagement with government and non-governmental organisations
  • Qualifications and experience in conducting research
Personal Profile
  • Keen interest in public health medicine, particularly if accompanied by relevant training in this field
  • Personal commitment to working in a team, and prioritising development of other team members’ capacity.
  • Strategic thinker and problem solver
  • Able to motivate people
  • Able to work and lead individuals as a team
  • Diplomatic and able to network and build good working relationships
  • Determination to deliver results
  • Fluent English mandatory; French and Krio is an advantage
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes in difficult circumstances
  • Proficient in computing (e.g. MS Office)
CBM is a Christian organisation. The post holder must adhere to CBM’s values and to CBM’s Child Protection Policy.
CBM encourages persons with disabilities to apply for this position.
Candidates with the required profile and proven experiences, who are meeting these qualifications, are invited to submit, via e-mail (max 2MB), a cover letter, CV, copies of diplomas, professional references, salary expectations as well as availability to /
Application deadline: 13th February 2011