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.
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 Counselor is a Registered Social Worker 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.
Duties include: conducting screening/intake assessments; facilitating discharge planning; developing and facilitating community referrals and referring to the university or outside community; providing brief counselling to individuals; and running 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.
MSW and is a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.
Minimum five (5) 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 intakes/assessments, crisis counselling, brief or short-term counselling to individuals, and psycho-educational workshops. Life coaching, mindful based therapies and alternative evidenced based therapies considered an asset. 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. Skill in working with a wide range of ages, and individuals in crisis an asset.
Keyboarding skills and working knowledge of relevant software is required (e.g. Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint); Excellent written and verbal communications skills. Excellent 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 students in 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 judgment and sensitivity, flexibility and resourcefulness. Experience working with post-secondary students and knowledge of university and community mental health resources is an asset. Ability to communicate effectively with staff and senior academic administrators about issues facing students in crisis and make recommendations. Able to exercise patience, tact, judgment and discretion. 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.
Notes: This position is a 12-month Term.
This position will require some evening work.