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National Consultant - Mental Health

Kuala Lumpur

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur
  • Grade: Consultancy - National Consultant - Locally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: 2023-03-31


1. Purpose of the consultancy

The purpose of this short-term consultancy is to assist the WHO Representative Office for Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore (“WCO”) in strengthening the actions for an improved mental health and psychosocial well-being of people living in Malaysia, focusing on, but not limited to, children and adolescents.

2. Background

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the extent and severity of the global mental health crisis, affecting particularly strongly children and adolescents. Limited social interactions and interrupted education and employment have negatively impacted young people’s mental health, while at the same time resources have been diverted away from mental health services.

Children and adolescents in Malaysia face a substantial burden of poor mental health and psychosocial well-being. In the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, 40% of adolescents reported symptoms of anxiety and 18% reported symptoms of depression. Suicide is estimated to be the second leading cause of death for adolescents in Malaysia, with an estimated 10% of adolescents reporting suicidal ideation and 7.3% making suicidal plans.

The Ministry of Health Malaysia has developed a comprehensive National Strategic Plan for Mental Health 2020-2025, with several national targets, including reduction of depression amongst adolescent down from 18% to 10% by 2025. To further accelerate the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, in 2022 the Ministry of Health has launched the National Centre of Excellence on Mental Health.

Recognizing the urgent need to support countries to accelerate action for young people’s mental health, WHO and UNICEF have come together to co-create and deliver a Joint Programme on the mental health and psychosocial well-being and development of children and adolescents. The Joint Programme aims to strengthen the capacity of countries to implement child- and adolescent-centred, evidence-informed, and human-rights based multisectoral strategies to deliver opportunities, support and services for children, adolescents, and their caregivers.

Additionally, the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific (“WPRO”) developed a Regional Framework for the Future of Mental Health in the Western Pacific 2023-2030, endorsed by the Member States at the 73rd Regional Committee Meeting in 2022. The Regional Framework acts as a framework to help refocus the mental health agenda and enable new ways of thinking to transform our approach to mental health, throughout the life course.

A consultant is required to support implementation of the Joint Programme and the Regional Framework in Malaysia, through identifying the gaps and needs and the most impactful activities to be implemented by the WCO in 2024-2025.

3. Planned timelines (subject to confirmation)

Start date: 1 June 2023 (estimated started date)

End date: 30 November 2023 (6 months)

4. Work to be performed

By working closely with the WCO and WPRO technical units, the consultant will be responsible for providing high quality technical support to MOH and other partners, to achieve the following outputs:

Output 1 Support implementation of the Joint Programme and the Regional Framework in Malaysia:

1.1 Perform desk-based review and conduct consultations with the MOH and other relevant stakeholders to identify the gaps and needs, guided by the two frameworks.

1.2 Identify the key focus areas for Malaysia under the Joint Programme framework and the Regional Framework and define the activities to support the framework implementation.

1.3 Develop concept notes and support writing of grant applications.

1.4 Build partnerships with the key stakeholders, including the government, civil society, and NGOs.

Output 2 Support the WCO in planning and implementation of various mental health-related activities:

2.1 Work with the WCO to develop a strategy including addressing adolescent mental health and an activity plan for implementation in 2024-2025.

2.2 Work with the WCO communications team to develop communication and advocacy materials.

2.3 Perform other tasks as requested by the WHO Representative and technical leads.


Monthly progress reports.

Technical materials (e.g., policy briefs, presentation slides) produced throughout the consultancy period.

Final implementation report written in the specified format.

5. Methods to carry out the activities

  • Support implementation of the relevant mental health-related activities.
  • Support process documentation, such as drafting notes for the record, progress reports, etc.
  • Conduct literature search, gather data and conduct relevant analysis, draft technical briefs, presentations and talking points.
  • Coordinate stakeholders within and outside of the organization and facilitate discussions.
  • Maintain regular communication and engagement by emails, video calls, face-to-face meetings, etc.
  • Provide technical support under the supervision of technical leads in the WHO Country Office and WPRO.

6. Specific requirements


Required: University degree in medicine, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work or behavioural sciences from an institution or university recognized in the International Association of Universities’ Worldwide Database of Higher Education Institutions, Systems and Credentials (WHED)

Desirable: Postgraduate (master's level) qualification in related field of mental health or public health.


Required: Minimum five years' work experience in mental health programme focusing on, but not limited to, children and adolescents.

Desirable: Experience working with the MOH Malaysia at national or State level on mental health programme(s); relevant work experience in WHO, other UN agencies, relevant nongovernmental organizations.


  • Knowledge of the specific or technical area of public health, mental health, psychology and/or psychiatry
  • Familiarity with the existing mental health system in Malaysia
  • Good communication skills and a teamwork spirit
  • Strong writing skills and a good attention to detail
  • Persistence in follow-up, tact, and diplomacy in working with diverse stakeholders


Fluent in written and spoken English and Malay.

7. Place of assignment

Cyberjaya, Malaysia

8. Competencies

  • Ability to clearly and briefly generate insights based on analysis of data
  • Strong capacity to communicate clearly and quickly
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and produce high quality outputs
  • Demonstrated flexibility to excel in a multi-cultural environment
  • Willingness to provide and receive constructive feedback

9. Medical Certificate

Individual consultants must provide WHO fitness for work form from their physician.

10. Travel

Consultant may be required to travel locally to meet with MOH and other stakeholders.

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 in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.

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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.