Terms of Reference – Counselling Psychologist Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Helpline

1.0 Background

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) is expanding its Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline to meet the growing demands for mental health services in Jamaica. 

Monthly, a combined total of 500 mental health crisis calls are processed by mental health teams island wide. Cases that can be managed via telephone are dealt with promptly but those requiring face to face interventions are usually processed within 24 hours or later depending on the case and the available resources. In most instances calls are received at the level of the hospital and referred to the relevant mental health officer. In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of mental health calls received at public hospitals.

To this end the Ministry has launched its 24 hour toll free Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline which will reposition the sector to better meet the demands for mental health support services. The Helpline, is expected to provide Jamaicans with a dedicated facility for mental health support and a comprehensive suite of counselling and referral services in one location. While the Helpline facility is currently structured to receive calls only, other means of contacting the Helpline counselling team will be introduced overtime.


2.0 Objectives

The overall objective of this consultancy is to provide a 24-hour Toll free Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline service for persons with mental illness and their families. The Counselling Psychologist is therefore expected to:

  1. Provide, on demand, professional counselling services and psychosocial support.
  2. Coordinate timely referrals and responses to mental health crises.


3.0 Scope of Work

  1. Provide psychological support, counselling and other relevant information to Helpline callers.
  2. Maintain appropriate records of cases/calls processed and collate statistical reports upon requests.
  3. Conduct case follow-ups to ensure referrals are appropriately actioned or clients have accessed the relevant services.
  4. Establish effective partnerships/relationships with community support partners.
  5. Attend technical and other meetings.
  6. Prepare monthly reports.
  7. Assist in performing other tasks as requested.


4.0 Methodology

The Counselling Psychologist is expected to execute his/her duties with a high level of professionalism and in a spirit of inclusiveness and transparency. This individual is also expected to meet regularly with the Supervisor, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline as well as the Director of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services, MOHW.


5.0 Deliverables

No. Description
Work plan


24 Monthly reports detailing number of and type of cases processed with an analysis of the conditions presented and trends observed.


6.0 Special Conditions

  • The duties of the position require that a high level of confidentiality be maintained.
  • This is a full-time position with fixed office hours and routine shift rotation.


7.0 Duration of Consultancy

The duration of this contract is two (2) years.


8.0 Qualification & Experience

  • Master of Science in Counselling Psychology
  • At least six (6) months experience in telephone counselling will be an asset
  • At least 2 years as a Counselling Psychologist
  • At least two (2) years’ experience as a Counselling Psychologist for children and adolescents will be an asset
  • Technology savvy with a good working knowledge of various social media platforms.
  • Ability to interpret and speak fluent English and the Jamaican dialect.


9.0 Reporting Relationship

The Counselling Psychologist will report directly to the Supervisor, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Helpline and the Director of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services in the Ministry of Health & Wellness.


10.0 Remuneration

Remuneration will be commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications