Indigenous Wellness Counsellor & Coordinator

University of Toronto

Date Posted: 03/13/2024

Req ID: 36526

Faculty/Division: Vice-Provost, Students

Department: Health and Wellness

Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)

Position Number: 00042939


About us:

Student Life connects life to learning. We believe every student should have the opportunity to participate in university life actively and find connection and community while discovering new ways of thinking and being in the world. We provide resources, support and engagement opportunities that are inclusive and accessible, ensuring every student can build experiences that set them up for a lifetime of success.

Consisting of an interdisciplinary team of health professionals and support staff, Health & Wellness at the University of Toronto aims to support graduate and undergraduate students in reaching their academic goals, engage students in their development and learning, and support their health and well-being by providing health education, clinical and consultation services. Health and Wellness (HW) provides counselling to students with a wide range of concerns ranging from relationship problems to debilitating depression and anxiety, suicidal and/or homicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress, and eating disorders.

Your opportunity:

The Indigenous Wellness Counsellor supports Indigenous student wellness, cultural ways of knowing, student success, and campus community relations. The incumbent’s presence is integral to the development and delivery of holistically based programming in collaboration with First Nations House (FNH).

The Indigenous Wellness Counsellor is a Registered SocialWorker and is an integral member of the embedded mental health care team in HW. As a member of the embedded mental health care team, and under the direction of the Director, Professional Practice & Quality Assurance, the Indigenous Wellness Counsellor provides Indigenous based personal, crisis and short-term counselling and guidance to Indigenous students and students affiliated with FNH, and solution/ goal focused psychotherapy in accordance with the University of Toronto Health and Wellness, vision, mission, and strategic plan, and is expected to demonstrate quality and effectiveness in work habits. The incumbent provides holistic, culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive assessment, individual counselling, and referral for Indigenous students. In addition to personal counselling the incumbent will act as a consultant to faculty, staff, and students on counseling and related matters, assist FNH in providing workshops to improve cultural capacity and knowledge sharing for students, faculty and staff, and it is expected that the incumbent will be actively and positively involved in the culture of FNH, providing support for regular programming and special events. Inherent in this role are the knowledge, skills and attitudes specific to critical thinking and decision making, ability to analyze and assess presenting mental health concerns and collaborate with the medical team in the management of these mental health concerns, and flexibility and decision making in fluid situations with unpredictable outcomes.

The Indigenous Wellness Counsellor will be situated within FNH at a maximum of 80% of the time, or as assigned, working alongside academic and student support colleagues within that context, while maintaining professional accountability and reporting to HW. The incumbent will spend at least 20% of their time at HW to foster stronger connections between HW and FNH and to facilitate professional development within HW as it related to Indigenous cultural competency and Indigenous student support.

The Indigenous Wellness Counsellor will conduct screening/intake assessments; facilitate discharge planning; develop and facilitate community referrals and referring to the university or outside community; provide brief counselling to individuals; and run psycho-educational workshops.

Preference will be given to candidates who self-identify as Indigenous. Recognizing that there are a variety of terms that potential candidates may use to self-identify, the University uses the term “Indigenous” in this search, which forms part of the U of T Response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to encompass the people of Turtle Island, including those who identify as First Nations, Métis, Inuk (Inuit), Alaska Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian people.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Assessing the mental health of clients
  • Providing clinical counselling and psychotherapy to individual students and/or groups of students and making referrals to appropriate resources
  • Updating and maintaining patient records
  • Determining if there is a life-threatening situation, risk of self-harm or harm to others and independently applying appropriate interventions
  • Leading seminars and/or workshops
  • Following rules and procedural processes related to Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)

Essential Qualifications:

  • Master’s of Social Work and is a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
  • Minimum five years related experience and experience developing and delivering Indigenous cultural programming and engaging in Indigenous communities within a mental health capacity. Related experience should be in a Community Mental Health setting, and/or Outpatient Mental Health Unit where the incumbent has performed client intake/assessments, crisis counselling, brief or short-term counselling to individuals, and psycho-educational workshops.
  • Extensive experience with mental health and illness, behavioural issues, anger management, and conflict resolution.
  • Extensive experience working with and within Indigenous communities, in roles including community development and/or partnership building.
  • Keyboarding skills and working knowledge of relevant software is required (e.g. Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Excellent written, verbal, and cross-cultural communication skills.
  • Competency in Indigenous issues, including the effects of intergenerational and colonial trauma, through active engagement in the Indigenous community. Sound understanding of barriers faced by Indigenous studentsin obtaining post-secondary education and ability to apply a structural/anti-oppression analysis to clinical work.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and appreciation for the diversity of cultural traditions and spiritual practices of First Nation, Metis,and Inuit peoples.
  • Demonstrated respect for individual, cultural, community and organizational diversity. This includes the ability to identify and understand the intersecting issues related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, race/ethnicity, immigration, religion, Indigenous heritage and gender identification.
  • Good judgement and sensitivity, flexibility and resourcefulness. Able to exercise patience, tact, judgment and discretion.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with staff and senior academic administrators about issues facing students in crisis and make recommendations.
  • Demonstrated ability to relate to students, staff, and faculty in ways that build confidence and trust.
  • Able to work in a highly diverse community with students from varied backgrounds and a variety of age groups, presenting with a range of difficulties and personal issues.

Assets (Nonessential):

  • Experience working with post-secondary students and knowledge of university and community mental health resources.
  • Life coaching, mindful based therapies and alternative evidenced based therapies considered an asset.
  • Skill in working with a wide range of ages and individuals in crisis.

To be successful in this role you will be:

  • Approachable
  • Communicator
  • Diligent
  • Intuitive
  • Patient
  • Perceptive

Hours of work: Monday-Friday 8:45am-5:00pm, some evenings required

Closing Date: 03/21/2024, 11:59PM ET

Employee Group: USW 

Appointment Type: Budget – Continuing 

Schedule: Full-Time 

Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: 

USW Pay Band 15 — $93,752 with an annual step progression to a maximum of $119,892. Pay scale and job class assignment is subject to determination pursuant to the Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Maintenance Protocol. 

Job Category: Health & Wellbeing

Recruiter: Dilini Perera

Lived Experience Statement

Candidates who are members of Indigenous, Black, racialized and 2SLGBTQ+ communities, persons with disabilities, and other equity deserving groups are encouraged to apply, and their lived experience shall be taken into consideration as applicable to the posted position.

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