Mar 06, 2023

Mental Wellness and Substance Abuse Counsellor - Full Time

  • Minwaashin Lodge
  • 2323 St-Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario
Full time Family and Social Services

Job Description

Minwaashin Lodge - Indigenous Women’s Support Centre is a non-profit charitable agency serving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, youth and children.  We are a multi-service agency committed to the healing and wellness of our community.  We provide culturally specific programming for children, youth, women, and families. 

Position reports to: Manager, Counselling Services
Location:  2323 St-Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario
Work Conditions: Located in an office setting; very low/low risk environment
Closing date: Until filled
Start Date: Immediately
Salary: Salary depending on experience


The Mental Wellness Substance Use Counsellor reports to the Manager of Counselling Services and is responsible for the development and implementation of individual and group counselling to First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and youth. She will use contemporary and traditional healing practices in supporting clients of Minwaashin Lodge and Oshki Kizis Lodge. The Substance Use Counsellor will participate in a collaborative wrap around process with clients, health care providers, traditional healers and elders to ensure comprehensive service coordination related to individual needs.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Conduct intakes and assessments with individuals requiring support with problematic alcohol and substance use.
  • Provide individual counselling to clients using Indigenous counselling methodologies and/or other culturally appropriate and safe approaches to.
  • Support clients to manage their substance and/or alcohol use using an Indigenous harm reduction approach, through the use of medicines, teachings and cultural activities.
  • Assist clients to apply to and attend day and residential treatment programs.
  • Collaborate with other members of the counselling team to offer a weekly substance and alcohol support and recovery group to community members.
  • Work in close collaboration with other members of the counselling team and Minwaashin staff to ensure holistic support is provided to clients.
  • Work in partnership with Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies in the Ottawa area.
  • Maintain accurate statistics and progress notes.
  • Provide written and verbal reports as required.


  • Graduate degree in social work, counselling, psychology or a related helping field; undergraduate or college and work experience in such fields will also be considered.
  • Experience providing crisis intervention and stabilization to individuals who are experiencing or have experienced the impacts from substance use in a non-judgemental and supportive manner.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with a variety of counselling techniques, as well as group facilitation.
  • Possess in depth understanding of cultural competency and sensitivity, as well as knowledge of theories and approaches surrounding problematic substance use.
  • Committed to a feminist, holistic approach working in close collaboration with team members, Grandmothers and Elders.
  • Knowledgeable of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous service system of Ottawa.
  • Excellent knowledge of the intergenerational impacts of Residential Schools and the 60s Scoop, with specific emphasis the relationship between these systems and problematic substance and alcohol abuse.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team and collaborate with workers from a variety of agencies.
  • Strong sense of respect for confidentiality involving both clients and fellow employees.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as the ability to complete and maintain monthly statistics. Ability to speak an Indigenous language is a considerable asset.
  • Excellent problem-solving, organizational and time management skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently with strong sense of focus and a clear sense of professional boundaries.


  • Some evening and week-end work required
  • Computer skills and literacy
  • Three references preferred
  • First Aid and CPR
  • Current Vulnerable Persons Check
  • Indigenous descent preferred

To apply:

Send a cover letter, resume and 3 references to – Kate Holden-Finance/Human Resources Minwaashin Lodge, 2323 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario K1G 4J8
or email to:


Preference in hiring will be given to qualified First Nations, Métis or Inuit candidates. The successful candidate must be able to obtain a police records check with results acceptable to Minwaashin Lodge as a mandatory condition of employment.