Job Opening

Posting Title: Stress Counsellor
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 19 May 2016 - 17 July 2016
Job Opening Number: 16-Human Resources-DSS-53109-R-New York (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to Extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Department of Safety and Security (DSS) is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the security management system to enable the safest and most efficient conduct of the security programmes and activities of the United Nations System. This position is located in the Critical Incident Stress Management Unit within the Field Support Services (FSS), Department for Safety and Security. CISMU coordinates the management of stress and critical incident stress UN system wide to promote the psycho-social wellbeing of all UN staff and their dependents and ensure that their psycho-social needs are addressed. The incumbent reports to the Chief, CISMU.


Under the general guidance of the Senior Stress Counsellor:
a) The incumbent will research, assess and monitor factors which could lead to stress related problems of UN system staff: He/she will closely monitor and assess stressful situations; identify and study stress related problems and emerging trends; research documentation related to resolutions, decisions, personnel directives, administrative instructions and incidents in the area of stress management; identify developments that have had a positive effect on reducing stress and keep abreast of technical literature in the area of stress management.
b) The incumbent will coordinate, plan, design and implement stress management programmes for UN system staff: He/she will undertake assessment missions in the field to evaluate measures for reducing stress and make appropriate recommendations and arrangements for the improvement thereof; consult with senior officials of missions, United Nations agencies, funds, programmes, and international organizations (AFPOs), discuss stress management arrangements to be taken in each specific case; undertake missions as required to provide emergency, on-the-spot stress management assistance; and advocate before Security Management Teams and senior officials UN system-wide to implement the CISMU strategic framework and the policy on the Management of Stress and Critical Incident Stress (MSCIS).
c) The incumbent will plan, develop, and implement stress management training programs for UN system staff: He/she will prepare stress management training strategy and develop the specific training program to include the curriculum, modules and support materials; act as principal instructor when necessary, coordinate appropriate resource support, establish procedures for identifying training deficiencies and provide appropriate corrective actions as well as stress management briefings to staff proceeding on assignment.
d) The incumbent will provide substantive options and policy alternatives regarding stress management to the Senior Stress Counsellor: He/she will draft policy guidelines and statements; prepare lessons learned, best practices, briefing notes for interagency meetings and serve as a member of interagency task forces; design strategies to reduce staff stress and thus increase staff effectiveness; propose specific actions to be undertaken to remedy situations and maintain liaison with specialized agencies, Permanent Missions, government agencies, CISMU and inter-governmental organizations on all issues related to stress management.


Professionalism: Expert knowledge in the field of stress management and counselling; demonstrated adaptability and ability to work in austere, insecure environments and to adjust rapidly to varying social, organizational and geographic settings; strategic thinking and good conceptual skills in designing, managing, assessing monitoring, drafting policies on  mental health and/or public health programs at a national level; proven ability to provide counselling in stress and stress related issues and treat sensitive or confidential information appropriately; in depth understanding of the strategic directions in critical incident stress management and mental health policies. Candidate also shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observes deadlines and achieving results; 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.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in clinical psychology or a medical doctorate with certificate of specialization or completion of residency in psychiatry. A valid certification to practice at national level in clinical psychology or psychiatry is required. Additional certification in a broad range of related fields, such as alcohol/substance abuse, family counselling, health, policy or mental health program design and management, critical incident stress management, and or cross-cultural communication is desirable.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in clinical psychology, psychiatry, or related field, with at least three years at the international level or at a national level with cross border experience is required. Experience in crisis or emergency response is required. Experience in providing cross border stress counseling, clinical psychology or psychiatry is desirable. A minimum of two years experience in managing, planning and organizing mental health programmes or projects is desirable.


English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in another UN Official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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