Mental health specialists

Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers act in the aftermath of emergencies, and help people with long-term conditions and life-changing injuries

A woman rests with her granddaughter during an MSF support session for women in the Tenosique migrant shelter.
MEXICO 2017 © Marta Soszynska/MSF
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Mental health specialists provide technical expertise and consultation to national staff on the set-up, implementation and/or evaluation of culturally and socially appropriate psychosocial interventions. Activities include providing technical advice, consultation, training, and supervision. Mental health specialists do not typically provide direct service to beneficiaries.

As a mental health specialist with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) your work may support people suffering from post-traumatic stress related to a conflict situation or natural disaster, with victims of sexual violence, or with people being treated for HIV/AIDS and/or tuberculosis. Of primary importance will be your capacity to recruit, train, and supervise locally hired mental health workers, and to adapt tools to local cultural needs/contexts and to changing circumstances in the field.

Individuals currently licensed to practice as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists (PhD level), psychiatric nurses, or  clinical social workers may apply to work with MSF as a mental health specialist. Other licensed mental health professionals (at Master's or Doctorate level) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Click here to see a generic job description and potential career path with MSF.


  • Compliance with Essential Requirements for all candidates
  • Commitment to work in the field for a minimum of 9 to 12 month assignments
  • Must be actively licensed to practice as one of the following:
    -  Clinical psychologist (PhD level)
    -  Psychiatric nurse
    -  Clinical Social Worker
  • Minimum 2 years clinical experience (post training) in a multi-disciplinary setting treating patients with psychotherapeutic and/or counselling methods. Residency counts as clinical experience for psychiatrists
  • Previous experience in a low resource setting (priority given to those with experience working in a humanitarian context)
  • Experience with a range of psychotherapeutic methods/approaches such as systemic, cognitive-behavioural, psycho-dynamic, or client centered
  • At least 6 months of clinical experience within the last two years
  • Professional experience supervising, managing or training staff
  • Experience in developing psycho-educational tools and/or ‘train the trainer’ courses/tools
  • Professional experience in mental health issues associated with at least TWO of the following areas:
    -  HIV/AIDS
    -  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    -  Sexual violence
    -  Trauma
    -  Tuberculosis (TB)


  • French or Arabic language (B2 or above)
  • Experience with traumatized migrants, internally displaced people and/or refugees
  • Experience with short-term therapy
  • Experience across the full scope of mental health care provision for adults, adolescents and children
  • Experience with individual, family and group counselling
  • Experience in community-based psycho-social or trauma focused programs
  • Experience in adapting recognized and accepted therapeutic techniques in consideration of local cultural contexts
  • Experience with adherence counselling and/or patient education for chronic diseases

How to apply