Job Title:

Indigenous Mental Wellness Counsellor


Metro Vancouver Indigenous Services Society


Vancouver , BC

Two (2) Full-time Permanent positions; One (1) Full-time Term position

The Metro Vancouver Indigenous Services Society (MVISS) is a subsidiary of the Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC), a vibrant organization with many urban Indigenous member organizations.

Under the direction of the MVISS Program Director, the Indigenous Mental Wellness Counselor (MWC) will ensure the current developmental, treatment, and psycho-social needs of Indigenous people are met by actively participating in the provision of assessment and treatment through developing wellness programming that supports the clinical work provided to individuals.

The primary responsibility of this position is to provide: prevention; assessment; referral; clinical counselling; follow-up; and case management for Indigenous people seeking support from the Agency. The MWC will ensure the services are consistent with the: philosophy; approach; goals; and healing environment established by the agency so as to ensure the social, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of people served are provided with quality services using Indigenous cultures as the intervention and foundation.


The MWC works within a multi-disciplinary team to provide prevention, assessment, referral, clinical counselling and follow-up services to individuals and family members affected by mental wellness and substance use issues, specifically individuals who self-identify as Indigenous.

Working within the MVISS mental wellness team, the MWC provides counselling services to individuals and families experiencing mental wellness and substance use challenges. A key element of this position is to function through the use of Indigenous cultural and healing practices which are linking directly to: Elders, cultural advisors and traditional knowledge keepers as a means to bring healing and wellness to the persons served.

Engaging the Indigenous population in the MVISS catchment area (Vancouver, North Vancouver and Richmond) recognizing that a huge diversity exists in Metro Vancouver with almost every Indigenous group from across Canada residing here and potentially seeking MVISS services. MVISS services include: confidential individual, family or group counselling in regards to the causes and effects of mental wellness and/or substance use challenges; support for families dealing with these same issues and healing needs; and facilitating referrals for additional treatment. The MWC will also provide psycho-education to individuals and groups in the community with a focus on Indigenous culture, mental wellness and substance use such as: suicide prevention and intervention; substance use; anxiety and depression; historical and intergenerational trauma; grief and loss; sexual abuse; and trauma stemming from attending residential school.

The MWC must have working knowledge of services and resources in the MVISS catchment area, and must be willing to partner / collaborate with other resource organizations to provide information and support when required in order to meeting the overall healing needs of Indigenous persons served. The MWC will utilize various clinical methodologies to work with individuals so as to increase and strengthen the individual’s ability to manage their wellness and healing journey. The MWC will provide community engagement, outreach and capacity building exercises where required.


  • Master’s Degree in a Health Science discipline from a recognized post-secondary institute with three (3) years’ experience providing treatment services to adults and/or youth with mental health and/or addictions issues; or an Undergraduate Social Work Degree with minimum 5 years’ experience providing treatment services to adults and/or youth with mental health and/or addictions issues
  • Minimum of two (2) years’ experience working with Indigenous community services agencies in the area of mental health and/or addictions
  • Preference will be given to qualified candidates of Indigenous ancestry
  • Extensive experience leading and facilitating healing groups
  • Extensive experience developing new and evolving programs based on MVISS client needs
  • A strong understanding of Indigenous cultures and the ability to apply these strengths into the healing services being offered
  • Substantial history working on personal healing so as to better connect with and provide services to MVISS clients
  • A strong understanding of problematic substance use and the underlying root causes
  • A strong understanding of trauma and how it manifests itself in Indigenous lives while supporting strategies to heal from historical traumas
  • Ability to apply knowledge, skills and education to different healing and wellness approaches through group healing, 1 to 1 counseling, family counseling, etc.
  • Ability to contribute positively to a healing environment
  • Extensive experience managing caseloads, assessments and referrals
  • Experience developing and delivering psycho-educational supports in the areas of suicide prevention, substance use, anxiety and depression, historical trauma, grief and loss, child sexual abuse, lateral violence, and the inter-generational impacts of colonialism/residential school
  • Lead and facilitate community engagement, outreach and capacity building exercises
  • Knowledge, skills and ability to apply western-based healing and wellness approaches
  • Must be a Canadian Citizen and speak fluent English
  • Ability to speak a Canadian Indigenous language would be considered an asset


Please send a resume and cover letter to:

In your cover letter: please self-identify if you are of Indigenous ancestry; and demonstrate how your education, knowledge, skills and abilities meet the requirements listed above

Job post will remain open until filled

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for this posting

Posted 2021-03-31

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