Stress Counsellor at the United Nations Development Programme (HQ)

Stress Counsellor | United Nations Development Programme (HQ) | Job Location: Maiduguri


Under the administrative supervision of the Chief Security Adviser for Nigeria and the technical guidance of the CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor, the appointed Stress Counsellor will administrate a wide range of stress management activities, actively participating in emergency preparedness in the country in collaboration with UNDSS and the UN emergency coordination group as per the UNDSS CISMU standard operational procedures on critical incident stress.

Duties and Responsibilities

The main role of the National Stress Counsellor will be:

1. To build a sustainable stress management system in the UN Offices operating in the

2. To improve critical incident stress management preparedness of the UN security
management system (UNSMS) in case of emergencies. This is applicable to the
current COVID 19 crisis that is considered as a protracted health emergency that
has complex psychosocial repercussions for UN personnel in the short and the
long term that requires expert psychological interventions.

3. Other tasks that may be required:

Develop and implement a stress management plan applicable to all UN Agencies in the country.
Provide individual, group and critical incident counselling sessions to staff and dependents as/when needed.
Plan and facilitate preventative stress management training on a variety of stress-related issues to UN staff in the country and circulate useful reading resources related to stress periodically.
To supervise, support, and coordinate activities of Nationally Recruited Country Based Stress Counsellor (NOB) based in Maiduguri.
To assist in establishing the Critical Incident Stress Intervention Cells (CISICs) including selecting Peer Helpers and family focal points, facilitate peer helper training sessions (jointly with UNDSS CISMU) and coordinate and follow up on all relevant activities related to peer helpers.
During the period of staff teleworking from home, deliver group stress counselling sessions to small target groups using teleworking facilities/methods regarding COVID-19 and any other related topic (e.g. stress management, peer support, resilience).
Deliver group face to face sessions where possible as will be arranged by the office, to ensure that staff regularly receive relevant information, and are aware of sources where to find information or assistance.
Provide guidance/support to activate buddy systems, coaching, intervention and staff support groups
Provide grief counselling for families, friends and colleagues of deceased staff members.
Identify, address and follow up on critical incident stress cases among UN staff and dependents in the country.
Be able to visit and travel regularly to UN Offices/Sub Offices in the country in order to implement preventative stress management training activities and offer technical consultations when needed.
Liaise with local experts and institutions in the country for referral purposes. Collaborate with UN managers, medical doctors, and local physicians on psychosocial wellbeing issues with the objective of establishing a network of professionals ready to support and intervene in case of need.
Advise UN management on stress mitigating strategies and activities
Perform ongoing assessments and monitor the determinants of stress in UN staff to include activities such as data collection, analyses and related documentation.
Provide monthly reports to the Chief Security Adviser with copies to UN Headquarters UNDSS CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor on all psychosocial support services.

Key Objectives:

The global objective is to provide culturally sensitive counselling services for UN staff in Nigeria, actively participating in emergency response with key stakeholders in the country.

The stress counsellors will:

perform psychosocial needs assessment among UN staff and monitor the evolving determinants of stress
regularly brief UN staff and managers on the psychosocial aspects of tCOVID-19.
advise UN management on short- and long-term stress mitigating strategies and measures.
provide systematic stress counselling services to UN personnel and families during and after the pandemic to prevent stress-related diseases including depression and PTSD
Provide psychoeducation and training to UN personnel and families in managing isolation, telecommuting stress and distressed family members
apprise the DO/RC, the Chief Security Adviser and UNDSS CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor on psychosocial services provided.
The stress counsellors will manage all psychosocial support services for UN personnel in the country, in collaboration with the UN physician based in Abuja, under the administrative guidance /supervision of the UNDSS Chief Security Advisor (CSA) for Nigeria and the technical supervision of the UNDSS CISMU Regional Stress Counsellor, New York.



Ability to make new and useful ideas work .


Ability to persuade others to follow
Ensures teams are resourced for success and empowered to deliver

People Management

Ability to improve performance and satisfaction.
Creates atmosphere of trust to build acceptance and seek diverse views, cultures and individual needs across the organization


Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform .
Reliably and consistently listens and interprets information and instruction correctly


Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement.
Takes responsibility for addressing critical situations and delivering core value

Technical/Functional Detailed

Replicate Reliably: Carry out work, as directed, and demonstrate motivation to develop
Professionalism: Execute & Learn: Performs defined tasks efficiently and deepens knowledge of area of work
Respect for Diversity: Implement & Manage: Exercises skills and knowledge independently, demonstrating ability to manage self and team responsibilities, in area of work
Creativity: Apply & Adapt: Contributes skills and knowledge with demonstrated ability to advance innovation and continuous improvement, in professional area of expertise
Innovation: Originate: Catalyzes new ideas, methods, and applications to pave a path for innovation and continuous improvement in professional area of expertise
Commitment to continuous learning: Navigate & Guide: Charts a course for a systems approach to continuous learning, adaptation, and excellence, creating institutional imperatives to realize progress within across the relevant profession
Communication: Integrate & Empower: Leads integral work of teams utilizing expertise, vision, problem-solving capability, and collaborative energy in professional area of expertise
Technological Awareness: Role Model & Resolve: Creates an environment to facilitate full institutional potential and governs UNDP’s strategic and political investments in line with organizational values and principles

Required Skills and Experience


MD (Doctor in Medicine) with specialization in Psychiatry
Master’s Degree in Psychology (Clinical Psychology or Counselling Psychology (Master’s Degree should have been obtained after a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Counselling or Social Work)
Additional training or experience in a broad range of related fields such as alcohol/substance abuse, stress management, critical incident stress and cross-cultural counselling and communication would be an asset
Certification (country-specific or international licensure or equivalent) authorizing the incumbent to deliver mental health services as a Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist or Psychiatrist is required
Knowledge about the region and its cultural practices related to mental health and well-being is desirable


A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in clinical psychology, counselling psychology, psychoeducation or psychiatry, with at least two (2) years of experience managing mental health programs at international level.
Qualifying years of experience are calculated after the receipt of an accredited advanced level degree recognised by the United Nations.
Experience in crisis management or emergency response is required.
Experience in providing stress counselling within the United Nations system or any other International Organization is desirable

Language Requirements:

English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations.
For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required.
Fluency in any other local language is highly desirable.

Application Closing Date
Not Specified

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply