Reporting to the Director, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre (FDISC), the Indigenous Student Counsellor will provide professional personal, crisis, and short-term counselling and advising services based on a holistic Indigenous Knowledge sharing model for Indigenous students at Queen’s University. The Indigenous Student Counsellor is a professional counselling position with a significant focus on supporting Indigenous student wellness, cultural knowledge sharing, and student success. In provision of counselling services, the role receives clinicial supervision from the Director, Counselling Services.
The purpose of the Indigenous Student Counsellor role within the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre (FDISC) is to help students develop their capacity to respectfully blend cultural, academic and professional knowledge throughout their learning journeys. The Indigenous Student Counsellor’s presence is integral to the development and delivery of holistically based programming coordinated through the FDISC.
Note: The schedule for this position requires the incumbent to work evenings and weekends.
- Provide Indigenous based personal, crisis and short-term counselling and guidance to all Indigenous students and students affiliated with FDISC at Queen’s University.
- Assist students to develop skills/awareness in areas such as interpersonal relationships, stress-reduction, management of emotions, mental health, etc. These may be provided in individual or group formats.
- Provide consultation/advice to members of faculty and staff on issues of concern regarding student behaviour.
- Liaise with staff within Student Counselling Services with regards to case-management, professional development consultation, and crisis management.
- Plan and carry out an appropriate counselling program that provides individual, short-term counselling to students with mental health, personal or academic concerns.Respond to crises/emergencies that Indigenous students are experiencing. This may involve consultation with Four Directions and/or Student Counselling Services staff and/or provision of direct counselling service to students.
- Plan, coordinate, and facilitate cultural wellness programming for Indigenous students.
- Assess students, including those in crisis and who may be at risk of self-harm/suicide, and intervene or refer as appropriate.
- Utilize appropriate therapeutic modalities matched to client needs; requiring familiarity with various approaches (I.e., CBT, DBT, ACT, Narrative, Solution-Focused, Mindfulness, etc.)
- Evaluate and recommend the need for short-term academic accommodations.
- Liaise and coordinate with Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers for the provision of services specific to visiting Elders and Traditional Teaching events.
- It is expected that the incumbent will be actively and positively involved in the culture of the FDISC, providing support for regular programming and special events.
- Provide consultative advice and assist on advisory groups within the University.
- Work in partnership with the local Kingston community and Queen’s University support services to build a network of support services and referral services for Indigenous students and students affiliated with FDISC at Queen’s University.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Must have Indigenous ancestry and extensive Indigenous community development or partnership building experience.
- Minimum of Master’s level education in Psychology, Social Work, or Counselling with three or more years of training/experience in providing individual counseling, addressing a wide range of mental health issues.
- Registered with a professional regulatory body of Ontario for independent practice, and in possession of professional liability insurance.
- Minimum 3-5 years of experience working in Indigenous communities, teaching and sharing Indigenous cultural knowledge. Recognition by an Indigenous community as having knowledge and understanding of the traditional culture of that community as well as spiritual and social traditions.
- Experience working in a post-secondary educational setting with knowledge of the unique issues facing university students.
- Familiarity with mental health and behavioural issues that commonly present in post-secondary students (e.g., depressed/low mood, disordered eating, low self-esteem, anxiety, self harm, substance abuse).
- Experience providing trauma-informed, short-term counselling, crisis-intervention and assessment of people in distress.
- Experience and/or expertise in intersectionality and anti-racism work preferred.
- Excellent counselling skills; including the ability to establish an empathic relationship and to engender trust; clinical judgement; knowledge of counselling process and counselling theory; a non-judgemental stance.
- Proven judgment and discretion in dealing with confidential and sensitive matters.
- Strong knowledge of both individual differences and diversity issues. Familiarity with cultural and spiritual issues and values of the student population. Strong multicultural competencies, including gender and sexual diversity, and an awareness of adjustment and identity issues in student life.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral), an understanding of the dynamics of human relations and the ability to communicate effectively with students and with others in the department and the university.
- Excellent cross-cultural communication skills (verbal and written).
- Ability to relate effectively with students from varying social, academic, economic and cultural backgrounds.
- Well-developed skills in the preparation of informative and engaging presentations/training and teaching sessions.
- Ability to work effectively under pressure and cope with demands on time and energy especially during peak periods of the academic year. High tolerance for stress, with good self-care skills.
- High degree of flexibility and ability to multi-task in a busy environment.
- Excellent leadership and teaching skills.
- Excellent attention to detail.
- Excellent time-management and organizational skills as well as the capacity to take initiative, solve problems and suggest solutions.
- Ability to exercise sound judgment and work independently; minimal need for supervision and guidance.
- Ability to work collaboratively with professionals in a team-oriented environment.
- Understanding of continuum of mental health and relationship to holistic health and academic success of students.
- Make decisions regarding when and to whom to refer students/clients within and outside the university.
- Make decisions with respect to the degree of risk that a student/client may pose to themselves or others and how to respond.
- Make decisions regarding correspondence and recommendations to appropriate university bodies with respect to individual students/clients.
- Ability to distinguish between circumstances in which decisions can be made independently and those where consultation is needed.
- Ability to determine the best recommendations to make when approached for advice or resources.
- Decisions regarding how to go about getting the information necessary to make informed recommendations; exercise judgment on the quality and reliability of information referenced.
- Decisions regarding the coordination of information, material, facilities, and logistics for programming.