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Mental health officer

Mental health officer

Being a mental health officer with us is an intense but rewarding job.

From providing psychological first aid to survivors of natural disasters to counselling HIV patients, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) mental health officers play a vital role in our projects.

Trauma is often the most painful aspect of surviving a conflict or disaster, or living with a disease, and mental healthcare is vital for recovery.


As a mental health officer you'll often head a group of outreach workers and counsellors, providing care in the health facilities and in the community.

It’s a challenging and exciting role and you would be responsible for some or all of the following: 

  • Doing a community mental health assessment
  • Planning a mental health strategy
  • Managing mental healthcare for an entire hospital/project
  • Providing care for victims of sexual violence
  • Supporting groups of displaced people
  • Identifying and managing protection issues

Application guide

Read our guide on the application process for all overseas roles

Role requirements

  • Formal education and post qualification in one of the following:
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Counselling Psychology
    • Social work (with additional psychological therapy qualification)
    • Psychiatry (with additional psychological therapy qualification)
  • Currently licensed to practice one of the above areas with independent licensed clinical practice
  • Two year's post-qualification experience
  • Experience working in the field of
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • sexual violence
    • Tuberculosis (TB) care
    • migrant issues
    • addiction
  • Experience in managing and training mental health workers
  • Experience in the clinical supervision of others and treating trauma related problems
  • Experience with emergency mental health/crisis interventions
  • Fluent in English​
  • A second language (preferably French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian or Portuguese)
  • Able to work well as a part of a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team
  • Minimum of three months’ work, volunteering or travelling experience in developing countries
  • Willing to work in unstable areas and ability to cope in a difficult and unpredictable environment
  • Available for a minimum of nine to twelve months
Acapulco Sexual Violence

In their own words

Read first-hand accounts from MSF mental health officers overseas

Before you apply

Make sure you read our application process guide for an overview of what to expect when you apply for an overseas role with the UK.

We take your safety, security and wellbeing seriously. Please watch these videos before you decide whether or not to apply for this job.

Apply to be mental health officer

Please only apply if you meet all of the requirements below. 


I have read and understood the role description, and feel I can fulfil this role


I have spent at least three months travelling or working in the developing world


The UK is my place of residence and I have the right to live and work in the UK


I have a valid passport


I have managed a team of people


I am available for a minimum of nine months