Duties and functions

Job: Mental Health Nurse at the International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Reference ID: req25457
Location: Maiduguri, Borno
Sector: Health
Job Category: Regular
Job type: Full time
Open to expats: No

Job Overview / Summary

  • This project uses health system support and strengthening approaches to provide high quality primary health care service and mental and psychosocial support (MPSS).
  • Under the direct supervision of the Health Officer, the Mental Health Nurse is the focal point for the implementation of the IRC Borno State Health Project in MMC and Jere LGA.
  • S/he will be responsible for the administration of the MPSS field deliverables of the consortium project and will provide implementation, monitoring, overall capacity building support to health program staff and project progress reporting consortium for the MPSS health unit.
  • The Mental Health Nurse ensures that the IRC Health Project interventions in MMC and Jere LGAs are guided by the Nigeria Country Program SAP Implementation Plan. He/she reports to the health manager and works closely with other health professionals, the monitoring and evaluation manager and the sectors.

Main responsibilities
Program management, technical quality and strategy:

Health program management:

  • The mental health nurse performs a variety of functions to help people recover from mental health issues, psychosocial counseling and to cope with stressors including depression, anxiety, isolation and persistent mental illnesses serious, including good applicability of PCI protocols.
  • The main duties, functions and responsibilities of the health programs performed by the mental health nurse are listed in the sample job description below:
  • Direct provision of mental and psychosocial first aid to patients according to the patients’ condition.
  • Administer medications as needed, document response, maintain accurate medication lists, and document and report medication errors.
  • Use a motivational approach to engage individuals in treatment appropriate to their stage of change and develop therapeutic relationships with boundary-respecting individuals
  • Provide education on mental illness, physical health issues, chronic disease management, wellness, relapse prevention and medications to patients, families, caregivers and team members.
  • Advocate for individuals to ensure implementation of appropriate interventions; ensure the protection of rights and privacy and ensure that individuals understand complaints and grievance procedures.
  • Refer and connect individuals with relevant medical, psychiatric and other healthcare providers for the management of their case.
  • Coordinate with pharmacies and other partners to ensure timely delivery of appropriate mental health medications and related medications for the patient as required.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of all medical and psychiatric services and provide additional coordination, advocacy or intervention as needed.
  • Talk to patients about their problems and discuss the best strategy for providing care.
  • Develop relationships with patients to build trust, while listening and correctly interpreting their needs and concerns.
  • Empathize with distressed patients and try to understand the source of their discomfort.
  • Help patients manage their emotions through the application of de-escalation techniques.
  • Provide individualized, evidence-based therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety.
  • Liaise with mental health agencies, partner social workers and psychiatric health facility as appropriate.
  • Organize social events aimed at developing patients’ social skills and helping to reduce their feeling of isolation.
  • Ensure that legal requirements appropriate to a particular context or patient group are observed and adhered to by working and coordinating activities with the protection team as appropriate.
  • Help patients and their families fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Giving advice and arranging support for patients, relatives and caregivers
  • Encourage patients to participate in therapeutic activities, including art and role play.
  • Support for the rehabilitation of people in a crisis situation with perceptible or verbalized effect of psychosocial imbalance following the experience of the insurrection.
  • Perform any other related duties assigned.

Human Resource Management:

  • The mental health nurse must be able to work well in a multidisciplinary team environment to provide well-coordinated patient care.
  • He will work with a multidisciplinary team to provide coordinated patient care.
  • Participate in progressive training for health workers and basic psychosocial first aid skills.
  • Educate CHIPS officers and health workers on the patient bill of rights and protection issues.


  • Maintain an up-to-date file and compile and submit monthly reports of all services provided.
  • Monitor and ensure the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals and other health program supplies.
  • Prepare weekly work plans and movement plan and ensure timely implementation of project activities.
  • As a team officer, maintain vigilance and monitor the environment for team security for outreach activities and adhere to IRC safety and security protocols.

Monitoring the implementation of the health program:

  • Monitor project implementation and provide on-site support to field teams and suggest modifications if necessary.
  • Ensure regular analysis and review of health program data, take follow-up action on project implementation and prepare relevant action reports.
  • Oversee and provide technical oversight in the interpretation of data for improved programming and implementation.
  • Monitor and promote integrated programming so as to increase the overall impact of the health program at the community level.

Communications and reports:

  • The mental health nurse is responsible for educating, motivating and advocating for her patients, as well as documenting a progress report about them; therefore, they need clear and concise writing skills and excellent verbal communication skills to be successful on the job.
  • Support the Health Officer in compiling statistical reports from supported health facilities and communities for weekly, monthly and annual submissions.
  • Ensure adequate flow of information for all supervisors with constant feedback as needed.
  • Perform other relevant or requested duties as required

Key Result Areas

  • Improved key project objectives, milestones and deliverables on schedule.
  • Through strategic interventions by the MPSS, increased use of quality primary health care services and psychosocial first aid.
  • Increased adoption of positive practices related to health, WASH, nutrition and hygiene.
  • Prompt and quality healthcare services to displaced people, refugees and other vulnerable groups.
  • Target populations are informed of their coping strategies to psychological stressors.

Key Working Relationships

  • Position reports to: Health Manager
  • Indirect/technical reports: doctor, senior health director and health coordinator
  • The position directly supervises: Incentive Workers and CHIPS Agents.
  • Key internal contacts: Country Programme: Health Program Assistant, Senior Health Promotion Officer, Senior Capacity Building Officers, Health/SR Officers, M&E
  • Key external contacts: MOH, SSH, Maiduguri Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Umaru Shehu Specialist Hospital, UMTH, other INGOs (e.g. possible collaborative partners), community leaders and health facility management team.


  • Bachelor’s degree or diploma in mental health or diploma in psychiatric nursing, or diploma in public or community mental health directly related to the substantive area identified in the job description of the position.
  • Must have license to practice or certificate of qualification.
  • A certificate in case management and/or training related to mental health will be considered an asset.

Professional experience:

  • Both of the above require 1-2 years of clinical mental health nursing work experience, including at least one year of experience providing direct service to people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, mental retardation, drug addiction or alcoholism in a community or hospital setting. settings. with a background in health and nutrition, social and behavior change, and communication.
  • Proven experience in community programming with the ability to motivate and lead, health team, CHIPS/community volunteers.
  • Ability to work with displaced communities of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Teamwork experience and ability to lead a team.

Demonstrated technical/leadership/interpersonal skills:

  • Good knowledge of clinical care, especially in primary health care settings.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences and understanding of social, political and ethical issues surrounding program delivery
  • Ability to work well with others and to respect staff, contractors, consultants and recipients of assistance.
  • Ability to manage tight deadlines and deliver high volumes of work with minimal supervision.
  • Good sense of integrity, service and responsibility.
  • Self-motivated, ability to work with minimal supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines.

Languages ​​:

  • Fluency in written/spoken English and Hausa
  • Ability to speak local languages ​​(Kanuri, Shuwa, etc.) will be an added advantage.

IT/Other Technology Requirements:

  • Proficiency in the Microsoft Office suite, in particular Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint with data management.

Standards of Professional Conduct

  • The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values ​​and principles set out in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are integrity, service and responsibility.
  • In line with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on beneficiary protection from exploitation and abuse, child protection, harassment-free workplace, fiscal integrity, anti-retaliation, fight against human trafficking and many others.

Gender equality:

  • The IRC is committed to closing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce, including parental leave, gender-sensitive safety protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Working environment

  • IRC is an equal opportunity employer. The IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, state civilian status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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