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Personal Counsellor- Black Student Wellness

March 28 2021
Industries Education, Training
Categories Health, Medical, Education, Library, Education, Training, Healthcare, Human service, Medical, Community, Social Services, Nonprofit, Social Work, Counselling, Psychology, Govt., NPO, Social & Community Work
Kingston, ON

With the recognition that Black students have unique challenges, Student Wellness Services at Queen's University is seeking a regulated health professional who self-identifies as Black (e.g. African, Afro-Caribbean, African-Canadian descent) and whose life experiences reflect those experienced by Black communities.  Reporting to the Director, Counselling Services, this individual will be in good standing with their regulatory body, they will use evidence based assessment and treatment strategies, and ideally has experience working with young adults.  Additionally, the Personal Counselor Black Student Wellness will approach student issues and concerns with an anti-oppression lens, ensuring Black Students at Queen's feel understood, supported, and ready to engage.

This position is perfect for someone who is passionate about the health and success of young Black adults, and provides the opportunity to contribute to creating a positive experience for students with diverse cultural backgrounds attending Queen's, setting them up for success as they transition through life.  The Personal Counselor- Black Student wellness will have the privilege of supporting students who will benefit from their own lived experience and expertise. The incumbent will be encouraged to bring change to the services offered at Student Wellness at Queen's, as well as develop new programs, such as workshops, geared to enhancing the overall educational experience for Black students.  The Student Wellness team is composed of experienced health care professionals who thrive on collaboration and who support one another in their individual and collective professional growth.

As previously mentioned, in order to address the unique needs and concerns of Black students as well as the underrepresentation of Black Student Wellness Services staff, this opportunity is open only to qualified individuals who self-identify as Black (e.g. African, Afro-Caribbean, African-Canadian descent). As part of the application process, we ask that applicants outline their experience working within Black communities, and demonstrate how this experience will ensure they have the necessary background to support Black students at Queen's.

This initiative follows the provisions of a special program and special employment as outlined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/your-guide-special-programs-and-human-rights-code.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:  

  • Work within an interdisciplinary team across Student Wellness Services to support student well-being, build strengths and support needs.
  • Provide individual, crisis and short-term counselling to students with mental health, personal and academic concerns.
  • 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.
  • Utilize appropriate therapeutic modalities matched to client needs; requiring familiarity with various approaches (I.e., CBT, DBT, ACT, Narrative, Solution-Focused, Mindfulness, etc.)
  • Providing counselling services for Black-identified students in accordance with and within an anti-oppressive and anti-racism framework;
  • Assess students, including those in crisis and who may be at risk of self-harm/suicide, and intervene or refer as appropriate.
  • Develop and provide group interventions related to areas of students needs.
  • Develop and share educational resources with staff and students on areas of expertise
  • Evaluate and recommend the need for short-term academic accommodations.
  • Liaise with staff in the Counselling Service with regard to case-management, professional development consultation, clinical supervision and crisis-management.
  • Maintain up-to-date documentation of client contacts consistent with the policies of Student Wellness Services and with professional standards.
  • Provide culturally sensitive counselling to international students, exchange students, students who identify with a racial minority. Deal effectively with persons of all races, nationalities, cultures, ages, and genders as well as persons of different sexual orientations and those with disabilities.
  • Liaise with appropriate community resources, in order to discuss referrals to the community and to provide the relevant information to facilitate service linkages as necessary (Make outside referrals when appropriate).
  • Recommend university, hospital and community program information to clients.
  • Make patient safety and level-of-care recommendations to the SWS team, including counsellors, nurses, physicians, and psychiatrists.
  • Other duties as assigned.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  

  • 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, and in possession of professional liability insurance
  • Experience providing trauma-informed, short-term counselling, crisis-intervention and assessment of people in distress, including suicide risk-assessment.
  • Extensive experience with cross-cultural and diversity/sexual identity/equity issues, OR  extensive experience in helping people in crisis states and the ability to apply this knowledge when counselling students.
  • Familiarity with current research and professional literature pertaining to effective interventions for a variety of behavioural, emotional and cognitive difficulties.
  • Familiarity with current research and professional literature pertaining to racial trauma and how it may impact a student's experience, both emotionally and academically.
  • Knowledge of the unique issues facing university students and of the cultural identities of students.
  • Experience working with Black-identified students living with mental health issues, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, social relationships, eating disorders, self-injurious behavior, trauma, psychiatric diagnoses, difficult family dynamics, etc.
  • Knowledge of, and sensitivity to, the life experiences and needs of Black-identified students.
  • Experience with/lived experience of oppression, racism, homophobia, transphobia and/or ableism will be an asset.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Records Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening required.

SPECIAL SKILLS:

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and provide educational and psychoeducational programming.
  • Extensive knowledge of, and ability to collaborate and liaison with, BIPOC student and campus organizations.
  • A dedication to participating in an effective, professional team dedicated to innovation and to the highest possible standards in the delivery of services to students.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral), an understanding of the dynamics of human relations and the ability to communicate effectively with students, staff and senior administration in the university. 
  • Excellent judgement and analytical skills and ability to respond to crisis situations in a calm and effective manner.
  • Demonstrated strong consultation/advising skills.
  • Demonstrated strong teaching and presentation skills and a commitment to this area of work.
  • Strong knowledge of both individual differences and diversity/equity issues. Familiarity with cultural and spiritual issues and values of the student population. Strong multicultural competencies, and an awareness of adjustment and identity issues in student life. 
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and cope with demands on time and energy especially during peak periods of the academic year.

DECISION MAKING:

  • Evaluation of the severity of client concerns to determine the most appropriate intervention.
  • Decisions regarding the most appropriate intervention for individual clients.
  • Decisions regarding appropriate programming to meet the needs of students.
  • Decisions regarding when and to whom to refer clients, both within and outside the university.
  • Decisions with respect to the degree of risk that a client may pose to themselves or others and how to respond.
  • Decisions regarding correspondence and recommendations to appropriate university bodies with respect to individual clients.
  • Ability to distinguish between circumstances in which decisions can be made independently and those where consultation is needed.

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