Mental Health Clinical Officer

  • Full time
  • 4 months ago
  • Lilongwe
  • Salary 000 / Monthly

Job Description

Partners in Health (PIH) is a non-profit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, whose mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care.

Through service delivery, training, advocacy and research, PIH works globally to bring the benefits of modern science to those most in need and to serve as an antidote to despair. PIH has programs in Haiti, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kazakhstan, and Boston.

PIH began working in Malawi in 2007, where today we support the Ministry of Health (MOH) to serve a catchment area of 165,000 through 12 health centers and two hospitals in partnership with our sister organizations. Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) is in Neno District and we seek to recruit suitably qualified and experienced candidates for this position:

Reports to : Advanced NCD Physician

Commitment : Full Time (Monday-Friday, some weekends)

Working Hours : Regular Office Hours (40-45Hrs/Week)

Location: Neno District, Malawi

APZU works with the MOH to integrate and decentralize HIV and non-communicable disease (NCD) care into one care delivery model called the Integrated Chronic Care Clinic (IC3) and have a clinic for advanced chronic NCDs at the 2 hospitals in the district. In these clinics we treat a range of NCDs including diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy and severe mental illness.

We are embarking to include screening and treatment of depression for individuals receiving care through IC3 through a new project: IC3D. This effort is supported by the National Institutes of Health in the United States and will also help to determine the effectiveness of depression care—both behavioral therapy (Problem Management Plus) and antidepressant care—in Neno District.


The Mental Health (MH) Clinical Officer will be responsible for overseeing and supporting the delivery of high-quality patient care to all clients diagnosed with depression in Neno District through the IC3D care delivery model. S/he will work closely with APZU Mental Health and NCD Manager, APZU Clinical Psychologist, Ministry of Health (MoH) Mental Health Clinical Officer, MoH Mental Health Nurse, Psychosocial Counselors and MoH leadership where necessary to support clinical excellence in implementing district-wide high-quality depression care through Problem Management Plus and antidepressant therapy (fluoxetine, amitriptyline).

This position specifically focuses on training, leading and oversight of a cadre of Psychosocial Counselors delivering Problem Management Plus (PM+) — including conducting PM+ to model proper implementation for Psychosocial Counselors and providing direct observation and oversight of Psychosocial Counselors’ performance.

It will also include monitoring and oversight of the delivery of antidepressant therapy—including records review for proper diagnosis, prescribing and titrating of medicines.

The Mental Health Clinical Officer will be based at Upper Neno with other clinical and administrative duties as assigned.

She/he will travel regularly throughout Neno District on weekdays, in coordination with the IC3 team, to deliver and monitor the quality of depression care.

1. Provide and oversee clinical project support and leadership for IC3D:

•Develop training and curriculum in conjunction with MoH and other mental health teams in PHQ2 screening, PHQ9 screening, psychoeducation (more specifically with PM+), group counseling and antidepressant therapy
•Hire and train psychosocial counselors, in conjunction with the project manager and other team members.
•Plan and train non-specialist psychosocial counselors with focused 2-week training and subsequent 1:1 support
•Oversee project implementation with managing and supervising staff and liaising with primary health care facilities and integrated chronic care clinic; and all psychosocial counselor training, mentoring and competency support.

2. Supervise Non-Specialist Lay Counsellors and Clinical officers:
•Develop and execute weekly work plan for monitoring performance of psychosocial support (PM+) activities in the health facilities
•Develop and execute weekly work plan for monitoring performance of antidepressant (ADT) activities in the health facilities
•Provide written and oral feedback on psychosocial counselors’ fidelity to the PM+ and ADT protocols during group and 1:1 meetings on a weekly basis.

3. Provide group counselling sessions to clients with depression:
•Lead facilitation and/or co-facilitate PM+ group sessions to model proper care delivery to psychosocial counselors at the outset of implementing IC3D.
•Develop strategies for promotion of psychosocial services.

4. Assist in monitoring and evaluation of the IC3D project:
•Help identify and measure programmatic indicators for depression screening and treatment project in conjunction with MoH, clinical, and M&E teams
•Lead evaluation of lay counselors on competencies
•Assist with interpretation of data and writing reports
•Assist and approve all reporting to IC3D team and APZU leadership

5. Lead quality improvement projects
•Design and implement quality improvement initiatives around the IC3D project to support greater fidelity to protocols over time.
•Assist with quality improvement projects to address mental health problems through provision of PM+ and ADT in Neno District

6. Any other duties that may be assigned.


•Minimum of a Bachelor’s in Medicine and Diploma in Psychosocial Counselor, Mental Health, or equivalent. Those with an experience with Problem Management Plus (PM+) have an added advantage.
•Minimum of three years’ experience providing active psychosocial counselling and prescribing antidepressant medications.
•Professional understanding of basic counselling skills and approaches
•Native of Malawi, fluent in Chichewa and English with written proficiency in English
•Willingness to live and work full time in a rural setting in Neno District
•Willingness to travel throughout Neno District on weekdays (M-F)
•Ability to work well in a dynamic team environment alongside health workers, support staff, and health personnel from a variety of backgrounds
•Computer literate—including in Microsoft Word and Excel
•Able to work with respect to patients and poor people
•Able to work under minimum supervision
•A strong interest in learning social medicine; that is, a willingness to look at diseases of poverty through a wide “bio psychosocial” lens that draws upon knowledge from a wealth of disciplines including clinical medicine, sociology, anthropology and public health.

Attractive remuneration packages will be offered to the successful candidates commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Qualified and interested candidates should apply to the address below, enclosing their cover letter; copies of relevant academic and professional certificates and Curriculum Vitae indicating three names of traceable referees with valid telephone numbers and email addresses.

All applications must reach the addressee below not later than Friday, 5th February, 2021.

The Human Resources Manager
Partners In Health/Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (PIH/APZU)
P.O. Box 56

P.O. Box 1774

Email: [email protected]

“PIH is an equal opportunity employer, so, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, tribe, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by law.”


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