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Mental Health Specialist

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-21

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The Department's mission is to promote mentalhealth, and human rights for all across the lifespan; to prevent harmful use ofalcohol and other substances, to prevent mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders; and to reduce the mortality, morbidity and disability forpersons with MNS disorders and associated psychosocial, cognitive andintellectual disabilities. Objectives a. To promote care, recovery and thehuman rights of people with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS)disorders and associated disabilities, b. To increase access to affordable,good quality services and supports for people with MNS disorders and associateddisabilities, their families and communities within the context of UHC andacross the life-course, c. To include care for people with MNS disorders andassociated disabilities in emergency responses for immediate relief and tobuild back better, d. To prevent suicide, MNS disorders, harm due to alcoholand other substances, and addictive behaviours, across the life course.


Provide technical specialist expertise support and guidance to the work program in the area of mental health. Support Member States, relevant WHO Offices and others, as requested, and serve as a technical resource at the counterpart level concerning mental health; and respond to Member States' and others' inquiries concerning mental health policies, guidance, measures, techniques and procedures. Conduct the development of new guidelines and policies in the field of mental health care, mental health promotion, prevention of mental health conditions, and mental health data. Provide expertise in in-country activities concerning mental health care, mental health promotion, prevention of mental health conditions, and mental health data. Provide technical expertise and guidance in the development, testing and/or dissemination of WHO and inter-agency normative guidance and tools in mental health Support WHO senior staff in providing leadership in mental health with Member States, UN agencies and Non-State Actors and support WHO's efforts to advocate for mental health. Promote and conduct the implementation of mental health research. Synthesize data on mental health conditions and their consequences, and on mental health care, mental health promotion and prevention of mental health conditions, and prepare and disseminate data-based information. Develop and conduct capacity building in mental health. Maintain liaison with counterparts in technical departments at HQ and in Regional and Country Offices, and with donor and development partners (UN and bilateral) on the coordination and application of policies and strategies related to mental health. Support, if requested, WHO's response to mental health in emergencies. Conduct and support the monitoring of work plans and budgets including resource mobilization for the work programme and follow up on the implementation of planned activities. Propose and follow-up on contractual engagements with partners and institutions. Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: Advanced university degree relevant to mental health (e.g., specialization in public mental health, clinical or counselling psychology, psychiatry, mental health/psychiatric nursing, mental health/psychiatric social work, mental health economics, medical anthropology, or psychiatric epidemiology).
Desirable: A doctorate in one of the above-mentioned fields.


Essential: At least seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in mental health focusing on mental health services/systems, prevention of mental health conditions, or mental health promotion.Working experience in the development of evidence-based, normative products (e.g., policies, guidelines,standards, manuals) in mental health. Demonstrated exposure at the international level.
Desirable: Working experience at the country level in mental health in low- or middle-income countries.Working experience in the development of evidence-based international normative products (international policies, guidelines, standards, manuals) in mental health (as demonstrated through published normative mental health products for a regional or global audience).Working experience in mental health research/data in low- or middle-income countries (as demonstrated through publications in the peer-reviewed literature).Experience with WHO or another United Nations agency in mental health.


Proven knowledge of technical aspects in the field of specialty (knowledge of mental health policies, systems, and interventions [including treatments, promotion, and preventive activities], mental health and human rights, and mental health epidemiology). Knowledge of country level situations with regard to mental health with good understanding of country needs, priorities and policies in mental health, along with WHO's policies, practices, and guidelines and in the related areas. Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations. Ability to review and revise policies and objectives of assigned program and activities. Interpersonal skills using tact, patience and courtesy. Public speaking techniques. Excellent drafting and communication skills. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work. Team spirit and time management skills.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Expert knowledge of French.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 74,913 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5194 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level, in different locations, and for Fixed-term and Temporary contractual arrangements with varying contract durations
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an 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.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • 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.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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