Psychiatry Referent (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium At Médecins Sans Frontières

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.

Psychiatry Referent (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium


The Medical Department at MSF Operational Centre Brussels (MSF OCB) provides strategic direction and technical leadership, committing to keeping up to date on innovations in health care. It shares the responsibility of the operational choices and the responsiveness and is involved in the support of project teams jointly developing context-adapted medical-operational strategies and defining levels of care. The department is composed of multiple specialists based across a network of units across the world and works in close collaboration with operations, other OCB departments and MSF movement.

Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions are a key part of MSF’s integrated responses to humanitarian crises. In 2022 MSF OCB had MHPSS interventions as priority objectives in 34 projects across 22 countries.

The Psychiatry Referent works within the MSF OCB Medical Department and reports to the Medical Technical Manager based in Brussels. You actively contribute to the achievement of MSF OCB’s mental health aims by providing strategic and technical advice, with a particular focus on severe mental health conditions. You will work alongside the Mental Health Referents (psychologists).



  • Contribute to the achievement of MSF OCB mental health objectives/ambitions through overseeing the technical and quality aspects of mental health interventions
  • Support the senior leadership in their efforts to integrate mental health into MSF OCBs projects
  • Keep up to date with new developments and research in psychiatry and interpret their relevance for MSF settings
  • Contribute to existing platforms and new developments in MSF OCBs knowledge management
  • Advise on evaluations and capitalizations of MSF OCBs mental health activities and dissemination of lessons learned
  • Participate in MSF OCB working groups (“circles”) as required (including substance use, migration, violence, paediatrics)
  • Participate in the Mental Health intersection working group to develop guidelines, trainings, and clinical and advocacy tools for psychiatric care

Technical Operational support

  • Provide technical guidance and strategic/programmatic advice to departmental, coordination and project colleagues
  • Lead the review, development and adjustment of Mental Health tools tailored to the different context to enable quality improvement in mental health activities
  • Assess, develop and update guidelines, protocols and relevant tools and ensure their accessibility and use.
  • Promote the use of the MSF Telemedicine service in Mental health
  • Advise on clinical management of complex cases and technical issues linked to mental health
  • Contribute to meaningful monitoring and evaluation of mental health care activities by tracking data and reporting on mental health activities
  • Contribute to mental health advocacy
  • Advise on operational research activities that are feasible and relevant to improve quality of mental health care
  • Visit projects to support quality improvement of the mental health package of care and enable prioritization and sustainability of mental health activities

Human Resource development

  • Support in recruitment and matching of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses
  • Engage in the induction, onboarding and debriefings of project and coordination staff as well as headquarter colleagues
  • Identify the priority training needs in mental health of staff working in MSF OCB projects and use, adapt or develop mental health trainings, webinars, and workshops. This includes support of mhGAP (mental health Gap Action Programme)but also other training programs on multi-disciplinary responses to meet the needs of those with mental health conditions in primary health care and community-based health care
  • Facilitate exchange at project and coordination level to support peer-learning


Education and experience

  • Medical Degree
  • Advanced specialization in psychiatry
  • Minimum five years of clinical experience as a psychiatrist
  • Leadership position in mental health services is an asset
  • Minimum two years of experience working in a humanitarian context, either with MSF or another relevant medical organization
  • Demonstrated experience in advising on mental health strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing technical advice in humanitarian contexts.
  • Demonstrated experience in writing of guidelines, protocols, and tools.
  • Demonstrated experience in delivering trainings and facilitating professional development of teams.


  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Driven to improve quality of care and support innovation
  • Ability to prioritize and respond to urgent requests
  • Ability to work effectively in different cultural settings
  • Use of excel, word and PowerPoint
  • Humanitarian interest and motivation


  • Fluent in English and French
  • Working knowledge of Arabic, Portuguese or Spanish is an asset


  • Expected starting date: As Soon As Possible
  • Location*: Any location where there is an MSF entity
  • Mobility: 2 to 3 projects visits
  • Contract type: Fixed-term contract – 40 or 50% (with 2-3 project visits anticipated)
  • Contract duration: 1 year
  • The contractual conditions will be established based on the station, on administrative / legal constraints and in respect of MSF function grids and salary policies
  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment
  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

*The final outcome depends on local legal limitations (residency, work permit, etc.) and on agreement with the hosting MSF entity of the location. The local contract and standard salary grid will then apply.

* Due to administrative constraints, given the duration of the contract, for some locations where there is an MSF entity, candidates will need to already have the permanent right and/or a valid work permit to work.

How to apply

Deadline for applications: 1 June 2023

How to apply?

Please, send your CV and cover letter to [email protected] and mention “Psychiatry Referent” in the subject of your email.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

MSF values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, race, color or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.