Substance Abuse Counsellor

Website Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority

Substance Abuse Counsellor

Internal/External Posting

Full-time Position

Location: Sioux Lookout, Ontario

Salary Range: $73,585 – $94,708 per annum

Reference Number: 2023-187

If applying by email, indicate reference number in subject line


The Substance Abuse Counsellor is one team member of the Outpatient Mental Health Service. He/she provides education, individual counselling and group work with a concentration on substance abuse/addiction. The intent of this position is to help clients recognize the high risk nature of substance abuse, learn healthier coping strategies, and manage feelings/symptoms of trauma more effectively. This work is only brief to help stabilize. For those requiring more intensive substance abuse and addiction services, referrals are made.

The Substance Abuse Counsellor reports to the Outpatient Mental Health Clinical Manager.


• Persons of First Nations ancestry will be given preference (OHRC, Part II, Special Employment)

• Addiction Counselling Diploma or equivalent education

• Must have course work in addictions

• A related university degree is an asset

• Completion of courses specific to cultural competency, trauma, suicide intervention, family violence is an asset

• Minimum 1-2 years of experience working with substance abuse and mental health issues

• Experience with individuals with concurrent disorders

• Registration with recognized professional body preferred or willingness to obtain

• Professional integrity and the ability to maintain confidentiality is essential

• Must support and adhere to organizational policies, procedures, philosophy and mission

• Must follow standard clinical operating procedures

• Group facilitation experience and skills

• Certification in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills is an asset

• Experience providing services in a mental health trauma informed care environment

• Practice from a harm reduction philosophy

• Must be knowledgeable and follow duty to report requirements

• Must have working knowledge assessing high risk clients and responding appropriately

• Self-starter, comfortable in a multi-tasking environment, calm under pressure, diplomatic

• Problem solving capability and ability to work under minimal supervision

• Can function effectively in a fast-paced and ever-changing mental health environment

• Must have excellent time management skills to effectively maintain a busy schedule

• Positive attitude with a team-player approach to ensuring clients receive quality care

• Strong facilitation skills, understanding of crisis intervention and trauma informed care preferred

• Proficient in typing and competent in the use of computers

• Must complete all client documentation requirements

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

• Knowledge of the people, culture and mental health priorities of First Nations communities in the Sioux Lookout region

• Ability to communicate in one or more of the First Nations dialects of the Sioux Lookout region will be an asset

• Extensive knowledge of community resources or a willingness to learn

• The ability to perform the requirements of the position on a regular basis.


1. Assess the level, pattern, and dynamics of alcohol /drug use by an individual, as well as the overall functioning including social systems, general health, and psycho/social status

2. Help clients identify their stage of change and goals for brief service

3. Provide counselling using a harm-reduction approach to help clients begin to examine their substance abuse

4. Psycho-education (e.g. relation between substance abuse and trauma, effects of alcohol/drugs, regulation of emotions without reliance on substances, management of triggers)

5. Help clients develop life skills, relapse prevention/coping strategies, community survival skills, and how to engage in acceptable recreational and social activities in the community

6. Ongoing assessment of risk and safety planning

7. Develop and facilitate addiction-related group counselling or psychoeducational groups

8. Maintain working knowledge of other alcohol and drug treatment agencies and programs

9. Assist with completion of applications and assessment tools required by in-patient programs

10. Link to community based resources who can take over the facilitation of in-patient treatment referrals once a client returns home and/or can provide aftercare counselling

11. Comprehensive and collaborative discharge planning

12. Maintain timely, detailed and accurate records in electronic client management system

13. Perform other related duties as required

SLFNHA “Strongly Recommends” COVID-19 immunizations and requests your immunization status to be sent to our staff health department if successful in the recruitment process.

Send cover letter and resume to:

Human Resource Department

Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority

P.O. Box 1300, 61 Queen Street

Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1B8

Phone: (807) 737-1802

Fax: (807) 737-2969

Email: or apply online at

Closing Date: Open Until Filled

No resumes received after this time will be accepted.


The Health Authority wishes to thank all applicants in advance. However, only those granted an interview will be contacted.

For additional information regarding the Health Authority, please visit our website at

SLFNHA is a proud supporter of Mikinakoos Children’s Fund. To find out more, visit