We’re Hiring! SJSOWC Harm Reduction Counsellor

SJSOWC Harm Reduction Counsellor

Reporting to the Harm Reduction Coordinator, the Harm Reduction Counsellor is responsible for the delivery of counselling and mental health services to participants of the province’s first Managed Alcohol Program (MAP). MAP is a harm reduction service for those who face challenges and risks related to alcohol use- administering safe access to and supply of alcohol, while providing wraparound social supports. As a collaborative member of the SJSOWC team, the Harm Reduction Counsellor plays an integral role in MAP participant’s care. 

The position will work alongside women and nonbinary individuals involved in MAP programming in ways that are culturally relevant, gender-inclusive and trauma-informed. The Harm Reduction Counsellor will build relationships with participants through genuine engagement and fostering trust. A goal of the position is to creatively approach harm reduction counselling for those who are excluded from, or do not relate to, traditional addictions services. The Harm Reduction Counsellor will work with the Harm Reduction Case Manager/Outreach Worker and Researcher to inform and create best practices relevant to our province in this new pilot project. They will also work closely with other members of the SJSOWC team (particularly the Right Here Right Now Counselling services).

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work directly alongside participants to identify areas of support, working with them towards their version of self-identified safety and wellbeing
  • Provide person-centered care for program participants based on their experiences, and what they want from a counsellor. Break down barriers of traditional counselling, making support accessible and relevant to them.
  • Provide individual and group counselling for individuals facing challenges with polysubstance use that is empathetic and empowering. 
  • Support people flexibly and creatively- meeting program participants wherever they feel comfortable and safe.  
  • Develop and facilitate a harm reduction peer-support program led by those with lived experiences. 
  •  Collaborate with the Right Here Right Now counselling program in their drop-in work and other programming.
  • Provide counselling using a one-session-at-a-time approach.
  • Promote choice and opportunity with individuals who are marginalized. Work “with” and not “for” participants.
  • Work with the Harm Reduction Coordinator and Researcher to amplify the voices of those with lived experience, informing best practice in providing harm reduction through counselling and emotional support. Identify ways that the program, and other programs with SJSOWC, can better meet the therapeutic needs of those who use substances.


  • Minimum 3 years of counselling experience, equivalency in lived experience, alongside relevant education- i.e. Masters or Bachelor of Social Work/Psychology/Education (Counselling Psychology)
  • Canadian Certified Counsellor, Registered Social Worker,  or Registered Psychologist designation
  • Strong relationship building abilities with those who are marginalized or experience oppression. 
  • Experience working alongside people who use substances, especially in providing feminist and gender informed care. 
  • Minimum three years’ experience in a community-based setting, including working with individuals engaged in substance use and those with experiences of trauma
  • Extensive skills in conflict resolution and crisis intervention
  • Strong understanding of ethical practices, especially related to those who are marginalized
  • Knowledge of Harm Reduction, Feminist Approach, Trauma Informed Approach, Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Frameworks
  • Demonstrated time management, communication (verbal and written), organizational and interpersonal skills 
  • Demonstrated independence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills 
  • Proven team participation and collaboration skills
  • Experience working in an inclusive environment, working with trans, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and sex working women
  • Proficient in Microsoft office

Hours of Work:

Monday – Friday (9-5), some evenings and weekends as required, 35 hours per week


The salary range for this position is between $55,000 and $60,000 annually, relevant to qualifications. 


This is a full-time, contract position for the duration of the current funding cycle (two years). Potential for extension dependent on renewed and/or new funding. 

SJSOWC embraces diversity and is committed to greater equity in our program and our employment. Our goal is to attract, develop, and retain skilled and strong volunteers and employees from diverse backgrounds allowing us to benefit from a wide variety of experiences and perspectives. In line with this, preferences will be given to and applications are encouraged from women (transgender and cisgender) and non-binary people who are: Indigenous, Black and people of colour, people living with disabilities, women with experiences in substance use, sex work, and women with experience in the criminal justice system. We encourage applicants to self-identify any marginalized experiences and identities in their application with the knowledge that disclosed experiences will remain confidential.

Closing Date: September 14th, 2021

Please send cover letter and resume to Harm Reduction Coordinator, Becky