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Mental Health Tele-therapist StrongMinds Zambia


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Context of the Role:

StrongMinds (www.strongminds.org) Zambia (SMZ) is a fast growing and dynamic social enterprise, committed to improving the Mental Health of Women in Africa by providing life-changing mental health services to impoverished African women. Following 5 successful years in Uganda, StrongMinds established its operations in Zambia in 2019, where we have treated over 3,000 women to date.

In our traditional mode of operations, StrongMinds’ Mental Health Facilitators (MHF) work in the most vulnerable communities of Zambia, delivering quality mental health services in the form of delivering group therapy sessions (lasting 90 minutes per session) for women affected by depression. They mobilize, screen and recruit depressed women into groups and provide treatment using the Interpersonal Group Therapy (IPT-G) Technique.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the financial and emotional well-being of many women in Zambia, exacerbating the need for mental health services in the communities where StrongMinds works, and throughout the continent. We are in a dual crisis of physical and mental health. StrongMinds is addressing this challenge with an urgent sense of responsibility and a belief that all women should have access to the support and treatment they need.

In March of 2020, for the first time in the history of the organization, StrongMinds suspended all in-person talk therapy groups serving women with depression. We quickly pivoted to fully adapt our therapy program to a group teletherapy model. By July, we were delivering free, phone-based group therapy to thousands of vulnerable women in Uganda and Zambia, and by the end of the year, SMZ had treated over 1,500 women through this approach.

SMZ is seeking to expand its pool of trained staff of tele-therapists who can deliver this life changing program and is looking to recruit a number of dedicated, committed and passionate Zambians who can lead this aspect of our programs.

With other SMZ Programs staff, the Tele-therapists work collaboratively among the whole StrongMinds Zambia team, sharing their experiences and learning so as to strengthen the StrongMinds Model. SMZ programs staff must be accessible to, and approachable by, vulnerable women and girls. They should be able to work independently and be target-driven, with the resilience and commitment to ensure their cycles of group therapy sessions are a success and meet the high standards expected within StrongMinds. They should be totally committed to upholding StrongMinds values, able to take contribute feedback positively and learn quickly, and understand their role in safeguarding vulnerable people.

The job description categorizes the key task into five divisions, all of which are important and the job holder should be able to ensure all tasks are planned for and implemented according to the organization’s annual and cycle calendars.

A. Serving women with depression

1. Identify, screen, recruit into teletherapy and treat women with depression.
2. Constantly seek to identify, understand, document and report participants’ barriers to help-seeking and participation in group therapy sessions. Communicate these with supervisors and team to find and test innovative solutions to address this.
3. Following the prescribed IPTG sessions guidelines, create a safe environment for women to discuss depression, their interpersonal relations and how the depression is currently affecting their lives.
4. Follow–up and track participant attendance and participation and document progress to assess IPT-G efficacy.
5. Conduct effective referral of women using the StrongMinds Zambia referral guidelines.
6. Identify women who can volunteer to lead IPT groups in their communities to be trained in an adapted peer-led therapy curriculum.
7. Ensure complete adherence to the IPT-G model – with no deviation at any point during delivery of therapy.

B. Networking and partnerships

1. Educate and sensitise community leaders, partners and community members on depression, its effects, the costs of inaction and benefits of treatment so that they can encourage and support women with depression to undertake and complete the course of treatment.
2. Actively engage stakeholders to ensure their buy-in and ownership of the StrongMinds talk therapy program.
3. Raise awareness and understanding of depression and mental health more broadly among community members, leaders and stakeholders.
4. Assist in planning and implementation sensitization and education campaigns to increase community awareness about issues relating to mental health, SGBV and HIV- linking them to depression
5. Participate in Sensitization, problem solving, dialogue and mediation with the wider population about the people in order to raise understanding, develop coping strategies and encourage those who need counseling services to contact strong Minds staff.
6. Provide interpretation between clients and other Strong Minds Zambia staff members when needed

C. Data collection and reporting

1. Maintain accurate records including the collection of qualitative data (using both electronic and paper-based tools) and ensure timely reporting based on the StrongMinds Zambia reporting calendar.
2. Contribute to the understanding of the overall monitoring and evaluation processes alongside the StrongMinds Zambia management and M&E team/department.
3. Periodically conduct client-satisfaction Focus Group Discussions.

D. Management and self-care.

1. Attend and participate in weekly debriefing meetings with your team and supervisors.
2. Participate in face to face meeting with your supervisor.
3. Attend and participate in all trainings organized by StrongMinds Zambia.
4. Set aside time for self-care so as to avoid burnout.
5. Identify and report any instances in which you notice feelings of conflict between yourself and the client or clients (transference, counter transference, set boundaries are violated, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue).
6. Attend regular support, training, debriefing, case conference and/or supervision meetings to ensure information and skill-sharing.

People specifications (to be demonstrated through your CV and cover letter):

1. Minimum of 1 years’ demonstrated experience working with vulnerable people (especially women and girls) on community development and/or self-help groups and programs – preferably in a counseling capacity.
2. Proven experience (and a natural ability) in community engagement, outreach and mobilization specifically for vulnerable groups.
3. Excellent facilitation, listening and communication skills.
4. Experience and detailed understanding of the need for maintaining strict, clear boundaries as a therapist and your clients at all times.
5. A good understanding of depression and how it can be treated using group talk therapy – including an understanding of self-help approaches and empowerment in mental health.
6. Deep understanding of the developmental challenges facing women in Zambia and how these affect their mental health.
7. Experience of working in under-developed, high population density settings (e.g. compounds).
8. Tech savvy – comfortable with the daily use of computer and mobile phone software applications, smartphones, tablets etc.
9. Demonstrated experience of monitoring and evaluation processes, data collection and qualitative and quantitative tools.
10. Significant experience of facilitating groups and managing the dynamics within a group setting.
11. Ability to work with minimal supervision and support.
12. Ability to develop, inform and sustain professional relationships, partnerships and networks.
13. Languages: Fluent speaker of English, Bemba and Nyanja. All these languages will be tested during interviews.
14. Ability and willingness to undertake physical movements between and within communities mostly by public means.
15. Unrestricted permission to live and work in Zambia

Education

  • A minimum of a relevant bachelor’s degree. NOTE: Diploma holders with more than one years’ professional experience will be considered.

SMZ core values (in practice):

We are people-focused:

Our clients are the top priority and we ensure they receive the best possible care and support. Our employees matter and we enable our team to thrive. We respect all our stakeholders and treat them as equals.

We think big and act fast:

We are passionate about achieving our bold mission. We move with urgency and focus on achieving scale. We continually find new ways to work and to solve problems.

We are data-driven:

Data is at our core. It guides us and drives our decision-making.

We do what we say and say what we do:

We are open and direct in our communications. We are honest in our interactions. No funny business.

We believe in collaboration, not competition:

We do not compete with other mental health implementers. We welcome their contributions to achieving our mission and partner with them whenever possible.

APPLICANTS MUST SEND AN UPDATED CV (of no more than 2 pages) AND A COVER LETTER (of no more than 1 page) OUTLINING HOW THEIR SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE MATCH THE REQUIRED COMPETENCIES AS  OUTLINED ABOVE. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

To apply for this job email your details to zambiajobs@strongminds.org


Closing Date : 28th March, 2021.

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