Detailed Overview

As a member of the designated integrated Homeless Action Response Team (iHART), supports engagement, care coordination and system navigation across substance use & mental health services, local service areas, and regional and provincial services, with an emphasis on reducing barriers to enter/re-enter the system of care and facilitating timely treatment and rapid re-engagement of clients where appropriate and feasible. The Clinician provides focused support to Indigenous clients and their natural supports.

Provides culturally appropriate client and family-centered care through a trauma-informed approach and evidence-informed practice to Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and families with and affected by serious and persistent mental disorders and alcohol and drug addictions. Working from a framework of cultural safety and humility, provides initial screening, client assessment, treatment recommendations and plans, determines referral needs, provides case management and follow-up support. Maintains respect for client dignity and maximum client self-determination and independence in provision of services. Participates in local committees and internal and external case conferences. May develop and deliver in-services, presentations and training to clients, families and caregivers. Participates in process improvement activities and follows clinical and customer best practices. May be required to work at more than one location and/or on an outreach basis in order to assess and/or engage with clients within their own environment and community.


  • Performs initial screening of referrals of individuals with a focus on those who identify as Indigenous from other health care providers/agencies, family members, physicians and other sources to determine appropriate treatment based on client needs, urgency of request and best practices.
  • Supports the intake process and assesses client needs by gathering client information/history via phone interviews or other methods; seeking additional background information to perform initial assessment of client mental health and substance use status and risk to themselves or others and to determine priority of care, client eligibility, availability of resources, service priorities and type of level of care required; collaborating with the interdisciplinary team to determine best approach to care, and assessing the need for emergent crisis intervention.
  • Provides individual, group, and family support using a variety of interviewing, supportive counseling, and assessment methods. Shares responsibility amongst the team for distributed workload to manage cases, formulate recovery plans and goals, crisis intervention, assist with home visits, run groups, and outreach to clients as required.
  • Provides first level intervention and support until formal treatment or further assessment can be conducted, such as short-term brief interventions, follow-up, monitoring, and evaluating treatment outcomes.
  • Provides treatment/support and case management for complex situations including people in crisis through provision of services such as delivery of individual and group therapy to clients and families; developing and implementing recovery-oriented treatment options and plans through collaboration with clients and natural supports; providing comprehensive case consultation and follow-up support on treatment decisions in collaboration with other interdisciplinary team members.
  • Facilitates client utilization of appropriate community services and rehabilitative programs through methods such as considering the client’s motivation and their stage in the treatment process, researching available services, liaising with service and program providers, providing advice and consultation to colleagues, and/or referring to other community resources as required.
  • Provides referrals to appropriate community treatment alternatives and services, including residential programs, family therapy, marital and separation counselling, alcohol and drug treatment, victim assistance, employee assistance programs, clubhouses, transition homes, vocational programs, and other agencies. Utilizes available community resources such as volunteers, community groups, alternate care services and other service agencies to develop supportive and rehabilitative programs for clients and their families.
  • Advocates on behalf of clients, by providing clients with information about appeal processes, providing information about clients to relevant Ministries and assisting clients to complete forms; acts as a resource for clients and their families.
  • Provides short-term counseling to clients and families and provides information and guidance to other caregivers, health providers and the public regarding the assigned program services, intake policies, procedures and processes, availability of Community Health Services, Mental Health & Substance Use Services and/or Integrated Response Teams.
  • Maintains client records by recording information such as client assessments, charting client information via PARIS and/or other clinical information systems, preparing progress notes and reports in accordance with established standards, policies and procedures to meet regulatory requirements, documenting for future reference and ensuring that access to and disclosure of information and records are in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Carries out responsibilities in accordance with health and safety requirements. Immediately reports unsafe situations by notifying supervisor or other appropriate personnel.
  • Develops linkages with other facilities and community resources, and advocates on behalf of the client and others to improve access, integration and coordination of mental health services, by way of establishing, maintaining and enhancing relationships/communication with community physicians, consulting psychiatrists, colleagues, community mental health services, acute hospitals, community services agencies, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Maintains relevant data and statistics on information such as intakes, requests, referrals in/out, priority, sources and nature of requests, and provides input to Coordinator and Manager.
  • Participates in quality improvement and risk management activities for assigned area by participating in quality initiatives, providing feedback to the Clinical Coordinator about needs and gaps in programs and services and suggesting solutions and initiatives to assist in the development and maintenance of a coordinated mental health & substance use care system within the community.
  • Participates actively and collaboratively in team planning, team meetings, committees, and/or corporate initiatives through discussions, presenting relevant material, acting as an advocate for the goals and objectives of the program, and promoting optimal support for clients, families and caregivers.
  • Participates in ongoing education to maintain current and relevant practice, including clinical education, as well as maintaining current knowledge of relevant Indigenous mental health and substance use disorders, of Federal and Provincial legislation and of amendments that impact mental health & substance use client care and service delivery.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
  • Qualifications

    Education and Experience

    Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Clinical Counselling, Counselling Psychology or other relevant related discipline. Two (2) years’ recent, related experience working with clients and families with, or affected by, mental illness and substance use disorders, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Knowledge of Indigenous health approaches, protocol and cultural issues.

    Eligible for registration with applicable professional association or regulatory body.

    Valid B.C. Driver’s License and access to a personal vehicle for work-related purposes.

    Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction, trauma-informed, recovery-oriented approach; concurrent disorders; addictions and addictions counselling.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Indigenous cultural practices and beliefs, including awareness of traditional healing practices such as drumming, singing and smudge ceremonies.
  • Demonstrated client assessment and case management skills.
  • Knowledge of how Indigenous culture impacts the development of individuals and communities. Familiarity with residential school issues and the effects on First Nations people.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop consultative relationships with health professionals, counsellors, traditional healers and Elders.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, including with Indigenous partners and First Nations communities.
  • Demonstrated comprehensive knowledge of relevant Acts such as Mental Health Act, Freedom of Information Act, pertinent regulations, policies and procedures, and other statutory duties.
  • Good interpersonal skills, including the ability to get along well with clients, families, and members of the interdisciplinary team, and including the ability to effectively network with other services and agencies.
  • In-depth knowledge of community resources and strong collaborative skills in working with other community partners to inform the referral process.
  • Ability to work effectively with individuals, groups, and interdisciplinary professionals through understanding the frameworks of other disciplines.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess, plan, organize, implement, evaluate and problem-solve, and organize and prioritize workload in a complex environment.
  • Ability to deliver culturally sensitive services to Indigenous populations.
  • Ability to provide effective and efficient service, while meeting clinical and administrative government and health region policies, standards, and protocol requirements.
  • Proficiency in the use of personal computers, including related word processing and database management software applications.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position.
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