Heartlandalliance International

Psychosocial Support Worker

Job Overview

About You:  A motivated mid-career mental health professional looking to work alongside an inspiring, dynamic team of leading human rights workers. The candidate will have exceptional clinical service provision skills and embrace a collaborative, team approach to the work they do. This person has experience living and working in challenging operating environments and is eager to apply that experience working on innovative human rights projects that support survivors of torture, their families, as well as families of those who have been disappeared.

About Heartland Alliance International: Heartland Alliance International’s (HAI) mission is to secure the rights and well-being of marginalized people and communities. HAI envisions a world in which those whose rights have been violated are safe and empowered to actively engage in their communities and be at the forefront of social change.  In Iraq, HAI provides holistic services focusing on mental health and psychosocial support, legal aid, violence prevention, and social cohesion to diverse vulnerable populations.

The Project: Heartland Alliance International (HAI), together with HI (Humanity and Inclusion, also known as Handicap International in Iraq) and War Child UK (WCUK) have formed a consortium to implement the Marla Ruzicka War Victims Fund. This two-year project comprehensively addresses the challenges civilian victims of conflict and their families and communities face to access the necessary resources to recover in safety and dignity and contribute to the rebuilding of a democratic, just, and inclusive Iraqi state. The project will focus on Baghdad and areas of Anbar and Basra that experienced extreme violence during the recent conflict and where there are significant unmet needs. Advocacy and systems-level work will also take place nationwide, and legal services will reach those in need of assistance with housing, land and property (HLP) issues in Baghdad and Anbar. Finally, the project establishes torture treatment centers in Basra and Baghdad as key civil society institution that enables direct service, medical-legal evaluation, and professional training in southern Iraq.


The program specifically envisages setting up two trauma rehabilitation and treatment centers in Baghdad and Basra which will include physiotherapy, psychiatric, psychological and psychosocial support and case management services, as well as legal assistance to women, men, boys and girls victims of war, including persons with disabilities, whose rights have been grossly violated as a result of the war. The centers will use a case management model and group sessions and will involve both center-based and outreach mobile services.

position summary 

Under the direct line management of the Trauma Rehabilitation and Treatment Center Coordinator and the technical supervision of the MHPSS Coordinator as well as MHPSS Director, the PSS Worker will implement center and community-based Psychosocial Support (PSS) services for survivors of torture, their families as well as families of those who had disappeared and liaise with other entities to ensure holistic service provision for these vulnerable groups. Overall responsibilities include but are not limited to the following.


Essential duties and responsibilities


  • Perform proper and detailed PSS needs assessment and/or case studies of target participants;
  • Develop plan for addressing client needs based on developed treatment plan;
  • Provide direct individual and/or group PSS interventions to survivors of War victims and their family members;
  • Working as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside, Physical therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, Psychologist and CP teams.
  • Refer clients if needed to specialists or to other institutions for other kinds of services using the referral pathways.
  • Establish and facilitate peer support groups among target participants;
  • Participate in advocacy, crisis intervention, and problem solving for program participants;
  • Maintain records and proper documentation of client needs and interventions carried out;
  • Report progress of participants and make corrective actions when necessary;
  • Liaise with other project team members and external agencies for holistic service provision; make referrals as needed.
  • Serve as a liaison between clients, government agencies and NGOs to ensure clients have access to available services;
  • Conduct awareness sessions and mental health education and promotion activities;
  • Mainstream protection in all activities;
  • Uphold ethical principles in all aspects of work with participants;
  • Establish and maintain a relationship with a client that is professional and confidential;
  • Participate in client file reviews to ensure that client case record is complete;
  • Organize and provide self-care and peer support activities to the trauma rehabilitation and treatment center staff;
  • Encourage and contribute to a safe and collaborative working environment where self-care as well as care of colleagues is prioritized

 Communication, Monitoring and evaluation 

  • Collaborate closely with project team to continuously assess status of MHPSS services / components’ implementation against project work plan and implement appropriate steps to ensure project is on track in meeting deliverables
  • Work with implementing partners to ensure that MHPSS M&E processes are managed in accordance with HAI and donor standards;
  • Foster effective communication and teamwork with implementing partners’ social / case workers;
  • Represent HAI to NGO partners, government officials, funding sources, other partners, beneficiaries, and at conferences, meetings and other outreach opportunities;
  • Ensure monitoring and evaluation activities and reporting meet HAI’s standards, and are completed on schedule;
  • Contribute to finalizing program quarterly, annual and final project reports.


Other duties; this Job Description is flexible to respond to additional tasks or changes as identified by the direct line manager.





  • University degree in Psychology, Social Work, Counseling, or related mental health discipline;
  • Previous experience with international or local NGOs;
  • Experience in direct PSS service provision and working directly with humanitarian beneficiaries;
  • Experience providing PSS services, including peer support groups, to survivors of torture and war violence strongly preferred.
  • Able to handle confidential and sensitive information;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and intercultural skills;
  • Excellent negotiation and relationship management skills, with the ability to proactively problem solve and find solutions;
  • Demonstrates initiative and is comfortable working in a group, as well as independently;
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and humanitarian values;
  • A strong commitment to human rights and to international standards relating to human rights, including gender equality and child protection;
  • Proven ability to calmly, professionally, and successfully manage multiple priorities;
  • Knowledge and understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation concepts;
  • Experience with Windows platform, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.;
  • Ability to reside in Baghdad or Basra and travel within the IKR


language skill

English Proficiency Level Required: Beginner

Arabic Proficiency Level Required: Native


computer skill 

1) Proficiency in Microsoft Office, (2) Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, (3) Outlook/Exchange; (4) Windows operating systems; (5) Quickbooks


Other Skills and Qualifications (required

  • Experience providing psychiatric services to survivors of torture and/or war violence strongly preferred.
  • Previous experience with international or local NGOs preferred.
  • Experience working on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Strong interpersonal and intercultural skills.
  • A demonstrated commitment to human rights, high professional ethical standards and humanitarian values.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation concepts.

Personal Competencies: Collaborative spirit and ability to work independently as well as in a team; commitment to knowledge sharing and teamwork; positive attitude and ability to see through challenges to find solutions; and strong interpersonal skills and an ability to clearly communicate, including complex concepts into layperson language.

Resilience: This project will address sensitive issues. Interested applicants should have a strong commitment to addressing the issues with cultural sensitivity, respect, and confidentiality.  Candidates should be flexible, have a sense of humor and patience.


How to apply

Please send cover letter (1 page maximum) explaining your interest and how your experience meets the qualifications required and a CV, to HR bamboo system Link below  click on apply to this job


Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. If you do not hear back from us within 4 weeks, please consider your application unsuccessful

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