Position: Adolescent Mental Health Facilitator
Duty Station: Kampala, however you may be asked to work in Mukono, Iganga or Wakiso District.
The Adolescent Mental Health Facilitator (AMHF) is a dynamic individual who will run group therapy sessions for adolescents affected by depression. They mobilize, screen and recruit into groups, and provide treatment to adolescents and young people using the Interpersonal Group Therapy Technique. They are expected to be vibrant, energized individuals who are full of empathy and compassion for adolescents and young people. They are able to engage adolescents in small groups to discuss issues that are affecting them, and come up with solutions. They will also work with community leaders, school management, teachers and parents to create favorable environments for adolescents to recover and thrive.
The AMHF works collaboratively with our other Mental Health Facilitators, as well as the monitoring and evaluation department and program leadership to share their experiences and learnings to help improve the StrongMinds Model. The AMHF should be accessible to and approachable by adolescents and young people. He/she should be able to work independently in the catchment area allocated, building the necessary networks and partnerships to ensure successful cycles of group therapy sessions. They should strive to exhibit StrongMinds’ core values, and understand their role in safeguarding vulnerable communities.
The job description categorizes the key task into four 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.
Serving adolescents with depression
- Identify, diagnose, recruit into IPTG and treat adolescents with depression who are both in and out of school. School and community-based sessions will be conducted separately.
- Educate parents, caregivers, teachers and school administrators on depression, its effects, the costs of inaction and benefits of treatment, so that they can encourage and support adolescents with depression to complete the course of treatment.
- Constantly seek to identify, understand, document and report the adolescent participants’ barriers to seeking help and participating in group therapy sessions. Communicate these with supervisors and work together with both the adolescents and your team to find and test innovative solutions.
- Monitor, document and report any increased risk of stigma towards adolescents and their families due to their participation in the programme.
- Follow the prescribed IPT-G sessions guidelines, making sure that you create a safe environment for adolescents to discuss depression, their interpersonal relationships and how the depression is currently affecting their lives, including their sexual health, HIV risk and ability to stay in school.
- Follow up and track participant attendance and participation and document progress to assess IPT-G efficacy.
- Work with the SMU team, adolescents, school management team, caregivers and key stakeholders to explore whether this group-based depression treatment and prevention programme works for adolescents and whether it can be integrated into the Uganda school system successfully and cost-efficiently.
- Conduct effective referral of adolescents, their caregivers and school personnel using the SMU referral guidelines.
- Identify adolescents who can volunteer to lead IPT-G groups in their communities to be trained in an adapted peer-led therapy curriculum.
- Work with caregivers to support adolescents with depression and their attendance in IPT-G sessions. This support should enable IPT-G sessions to take place at a venue and time that is most suitable for adolescents to participate in group sessions, with as few barriers as possible.
Networking and partnerships
- Actively engage stakeholders in the assigned schools to ensure their buy-in and ownership of the school mental health program.
- Interface with the management and administration of the assigned school to monitor overall impact of the group sessions on the students and the general school body.
- Raise awareness and understanding of depression and mental health more broadly in educators, local councils and family members, including how mental disorders affect children and adolescents.
- Identify barriers to success and report them to SMU Management to find innovative solutions to these barriers.
Data collection and reporting
- Maintain accurate records including the collection of qualitative data (using both electronic and paper based tools) and ensure timely reporting based on the SMU calendar.
- Contribute to the understanding of the overall monitoring and evaluation questions as shall be set by the SMU management and M&E team/department.
- Periodically conduct client (adolescent and adult) satisfaction FGDs and facilitate sessions with adolescents to contribute to the design the programme with adolescent input,
Management and self-care
- Attend and participate in weekly debriefing meetings with your team and supervisors.
- Participate in face to face meeting with your supervisor.
- Attend and participate in all trainings organized by SMU.
- Set aside time for self-care so as to avoid burnout.
- 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).
- A good understanding of depression and how to treat it using talk and group therapy.
- Knowledge/understanding of child and adolescent development and the unique factors affecting the development of children and adolescents in Uganda and how these affect their mental health.
- A good understanding of the relationships between adolescent mental health, SRH, prevalence of HIV and secondary school dropout rates.
- Knowledgeable and comfortable with the use of computer and mobile phone software applications, smartphones, tablets etc.
- Be highly attune to counseling, self-help and participatory methodologies that will interest young people and facilitate them to open up and discuss sensitive topics related to depression sexual health, HIV risk and ability to stay in school
- Proven experience of working with adolescents or young people in both schools and in the community.
- Proven experience in community outreach and mobilization specifically for vulnerable groups like women and adolescent.
- An understanding of group dynamic and how to manage these in group therapy settings.
- Able to provide constructive feedback to the supervisor with the aim of enriching the experience of the adolescentsand adults targeted/benefiting from the program.
- Able to apply techniques that will find and retain vulnerable and at-risk young people so as to maintain high attendance and adherence rates.
- Minimum of 2 years experience working with vulnerable adolescents
- Ability to work with minimal supervision
- Ability to develop, inform and sustain professional relationships, partnerships and networks.
- Language: English, Luganda and Lusoga. All these languages will be tested during interviews.
- Ability and willingness to undertake physical movements between and within communities mostly by public means
Desired personal attributes include, but are not limited to:
- Attention to detail
- Self-driven and able to work under minimum supervision
- Brave, adventurous, inquisitive and willing to learn
- Trustworthy and honest
- Problem solver
- Leader with the boundaries of organizational rules, standards and guidelines
- Open minded and flexible.
- Flexibility in carrying out tasks
- Ability to work with diverse cultures
- Ability to work under pressure.
- Self-driven, hard working, results-oriented, eager to learn
- Team player
A minimum of a relevant bachelor’s degree or equivalent with at least three years work experience, two of which have been spent working with young people.
- Numbers of 12-week IPT-G groups complete,
- Percent reduction in symptoms of people completing group sessions,
- Percent completion off IPT-G sessions,
- Attendance at weekly debriefing meetings,
- Attendance at organized trainings,
- Up-to-date data collect, compiled and submitted to SMUM&E department by mid and end of cycle.
SMU core values
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.
Please send your application letter and CV only (attached as one document) indicating 3 referees, two of whom should have been direct supervisors to email@example.com by 08th February, 2019 at midnight Uganda time. Only on-line applications will be accepted and do not upload academic papers or certificates.
StrongMinds Uganda is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply at the earliest opportunity; however, only shortlisted
candidates will be contacted.
StrongMinds is committed to prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, therefore all successful applicants will be required to sign onto our
safeguarding/CP policy, code of conduct & complete a police check with Interpol.