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Stress Counsellor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Posted on Mon 27th Apr, 2020 - --- (0 comments)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. It promotes technical and investment cooperation among nations.

Headquartered in New York City, the status of UNDP is that of an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Stress Counsellor

Job ID: 30205
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Practice Area - Job Family: Management - STRESS
Grade: SB4
Vacancy Type: Service Contract (SC)
Posting Type: Common System
Contract Duration: 1 Year with possibility for extension


  • The stress counsellor  is being sought to support the psychosocial and organisational behaviour of UN staff in Nigeria:
    • To develop and maintain a sustainable stress management system applicable to all UN Agencies operating in Nigeria and to improve the critical incident stress management preparedness of the UN security system in case of emergencies.
    • To provide efficient and effective psychological counselling to staff requiring support related to work-place difficulties or personal issues. A large emphasis is placed on extensive engagement with staff and promotion of staff well-being
    • The challenges of working in difficult conditions to bring the much-needed support to our recipients while inherently rewarding, can place a great deal of pressure and stress on UN staff particularly those working in challenging environments.
    • The key purpose is to identify and address psychological risk factors in the workplace through the provision of counselling services to staff members and whenever necessary, their dependents.
    • The UN Common System in Nigeria under the Operations Management Team is looking for a highly qualified Staff Counsellor to join the UN Nigeria based in Abuja with coverage to all field-based offices.
  • Under the administrative supervision of the UN Health Manager and the technical guidance of the CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor, the field stress counsellor will administrate a wide range of stress management activities, actively participating in emergency preparedness in the country in collaboration with UNDSS and the UN emergency coordination group as per the UNDSS CISMU standard operational procedures on the Management of Stress and Critical Incident Stress (MSCIS).
  • A key requirement of the position will be the ability to summarize data and trends to develop programs and policies that are designed to support staff.
  • Frequent travel is required from the Staff Counsellor to support the field offices, at times on short notice based on operational needs, and also at times to remote and difficult locations to provide support to staff based in the deep field.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the administrative supervision of the UN Health Manager and the technical guidance of the CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor, the field stress counsellor will administrate a wide range of stress management activities, actively participating in emergency preparedness in the country in collaboration with UNDSS and the UN emergency coordination group as per the UNDSS CISMU standard operational procedures on the Management of Stress and Critical Incident Stress (MSCIS);

  • Provide culturally sensitive psychosocial support to individuals, groups of staff and/or their immediate family members, to ensure staff members are assisted in difficult situations and that comprehensive assessments and treatment plans are prepared.  
  • Provide active psychosocial support during emergencies and/or after critical incidents to ensure continued staff well-being.  
  • Actively engage with management and staff to establish relationships based on trust and respect.
  • Contribute to the staff readiness for undertaking challenging assignments in deep field duty stations through briefings, counselling sessions and other activities to ensure proactive support is extended to staff.
  • Deliver workshops, trainings, and information sessions on a wide range of topics (e.g. stress management, team-building, problem-solving, conflict resolution, etc) to ensure that staff regularly receive relevant information and are aware of sources where to find information or assistance.
  • Contribute to the design of corporate policies and guidelines, design information booklets/materials to increase awareness of important themes and promote staff welfare.
  • Lead the establishment of Peer Helpers (PH) network and manage capacity building of this group.   
  • Prepare comprehensive reports, plan budget for missions, trainings and plan and implement other staff counselling activities to ensure the provision of cohesive counselling services.  
  • Hold accountability for maintenance of professional confidentiality at all times, practice ethics, actively engage with staff, listen to their concerns, and stay approachable.  
  • Contribute to the development of policies and guidelines, as well as written and visual materials to increase awareness regarding important themes and topics related to Staff Wellness

Core Innovation:

  • Ability to make new and useful ideas work.
  • Adept with complex concepts and challenges convention purposefully


  • Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform.
  • Synthesizes information to communicate independent analysis


  • Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement .
  • Meets goals and quality criteria for delivery of products or services


  • Knowledge of a range of humanitarian assistance, emergency relief and related human rights issues, including approaches and techniques to address difficult problems.
  • Capacity to analyze and articulate the humanitarian dimension of issues which require a coordinated UN response. Ability to identify issues and judgment in applying technical expertise to resolve a wide range of problems.
  • Ability to conduct research, including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the humanitarian rights situation in assigned area.
  • Ability to work under extreme pressure, on occasion in a highly stressful environment; ability to provide guidance to new/junior staff; ability to provide advice to senior level officials.
  • Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.
  • Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.


  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailor’s language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning & Organizing:

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Acting as a team player and facilitating teamwork.
  • Creating synergies through self-control, sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University degree in Psychology, Psychiatry. The candidate must hold active licensure/registration as a mental health professional with a recognized governing association and be a member of that organization in good standing.
  • Additional training or certification in a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, resilience, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, mediation, trauma etc. will be an advantage.
  • Registration as a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, in the country of origin is required.


  • Five (05) years or more of relevant experience in the field of mental health including experience in working in UN or other humanitarian organizations.
  • Experience in hardship duty stations providing counselling services to staff working in difficult and hazardous environments is required.
  • Broad knowledge of all facets of the field of counselling and ability to provide an environment in which others can talk confidentially and act without fear or repercussions within a climate of established trust.
  • Specialist expertise in the assessment of mental health needs and the assessment of risk.
  • Ability to manage crisis situations that involve diverse actors and stakeholders.
  • Ability to identify clients’ needs and suggest appropriate solutions.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written and presentations, very good working knowledge of technology tools such as PowerPoint, Excel and Word etc) including the ability to defend and explain difficult issues and positions to staff at all levels.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of both genders and diverse national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients.
  • Must be an excellent team player and value working with a multidisciplinary and culturally diverse team.  
  • Ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries and establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Skills in conflict resolution and mediation skills.
  • Skills in designing and delivering trainings/information sessions on a number of subjects and ability to adapt those to different audiences.


  • Proficiency in writing and verbal communication in English is required and French (desirable).
  • The local language is an asset

Application Closing Date
3rd May, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Note: Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


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