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Mental Health and Addictions Worker

January 26, 2021
Job Type
  • 26


BASED IN YELLOWKNIFE. The Mental Health and Addictions Worker (MHAW) supports youth ages 12 – 24 connect with housing, life skills, addictions, mental health and other resources in the community. The program works from a strength-based, youth driven framework, which means: the program is voluntary and based on whether the young person feels they need further support. Reporting to the Executive Director, the MHAW is responsible for assisting young people transitioning into adulthood and independence in all programs that the Sidedoor Ministries offers.



  • Support youth between the ages of 12 and 24 at any programs that are delivered at by The Sidedoor Ministries
  • Provide support that is normalizing, individualized and respectful to the youth 
  • Identify and report trends and priorities needed in the youth community
  • Determine the gaps in service delivery and recommend strategies for improvement
  • Utilize teaching and learning strategies that are individualized to fit the youth's needs, abilities and service and transition plan
  • Identify resources and services that are congruent with the youth’s overall service and transition plan
  • Assist youth in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, and making changes
  • Assist youth to increase their capacity for autonomy and independent decision-making and problem solving
  • Assist youth to express their feelings and discuss what is happening in their lives, and help them to develop insight to facilitate self-awareness and discovery
  • Facilitate referrals to community resources or to specialists as necessary
  • Facilitate effective communication with youth, families and team members regarding the planning, support and development of youth program goals
  • Plan, organize and lead structured programs of counseling, work, study, recreation and social activities to engage youth in cultural and recreational activities (including mindfulness and relaxation)
  • Plan and conduct programs to prevent substance abuse and work cooperatively with other service groups to identify gaps in services and potential solutions to improve community health and counseling services
  • Plan and facilitate workshops and training sessions for youth and staff when requested
  • Plan case conferences with families, and community supports (Police, Probation, Wellness Court, and Integrated Case management, Social workers, Income Support, etc.) and other service providers in order to exchange necessary information
  • Ensure the environment is a safe space for all that attend including 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ individuals
  • Ensure the cultural and spiritual beliefs of all youth are supported


  • Supervise youth that are attending group and one-on-one appointments
  • Provide supervision that is appropriate for the youth’s developmental age


  • Utilize ethical and safe behavior management techniques to encourage awareness and acceptance of range of tolerable behavior
  • Intervene and practice good conflict resolution strategies with individuals and in group settings
  • Ensure safety risks are identified and the appropriate intervention is applied
  • Complete safety plans with youth where appropriate
  • Develop strategies to deal with potentially dangerous situations; i.e., suicide threats, AWOL’s, youth’s aggressive behavior
  • Assess, evaluate and plan to prevent crisis situations whenever possible
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety precautions dealing with environmental working conditions such as potential verbal and physical aggression
  • Demonstrated capacity to implement suicide risk assessments, appropriate safety planning and response


  • Actively support the mission, vision and goals of the Side Door Ministries
  • Work directly with key stakeholders in a collaborative manner
  • Work collaboratively with other staff within the organization
  • Actively participate in team meetings, professional development activities, staff retreat and other Centre activities


  • Ensure appropriate documents are signed before commencing work with youth including confidentiality and release of information forms
  • Assist other program staff by documenting and communicate any observed changes in mood or behavior, health care needs or mental health care needs
  • Submit statistics, assessments and reports when requested
  • Ensure a safe filing system for confidential documents



  • Some education such as a college or university degree in mental health in addictions, social work, youth work, community work
  • 2+ years previous work experience in which the duties and tasks were similar (working with youth, providing mental health support, providing addictions support, working at a shelter, working at a community centre)
  • 19 years of age or older
  • Speak and write in English


  • Punctual and reliable
  • Strong social and emotional skills
  • Strong communication skills necessary to confidently communicate with youth, coworkers, supervisors, people in the community, professional people, law enforcement, government workers, court workers, education workers, etc.
  • Experiencing working with youth who have mental health challenges, youth who are experiencing addictions to drugs and/or alcohol
  • Experiencing working with youth, youth who are experiencing homelessness, youth who have experienced varying levels of trauma, and youth with disability(ies)
  • An understanding of homelessness in Canada, homelessness interventions, and factors that lead to homelessness
  • An understanding of racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, and various forms of descrimination
  • An understanding of the history  of  Northwest  Territories  including  impacts  of  colonization  and  residential  schools
  • Prioritize cultural safety and cultural humility
  • Strong computer skills, the ability to read and write, and navigate software including Microsoft Word and Google Drive
  • Experience writing case notes
  • Experience coordinating case conferences
  • Ability to collaborate well with others
  • Ability to respond with empathy
  • Confidence in crisis and emergency situations
  • Organizational skills, ability to multitask
  • Skills to manage conflicts between individuals and groups
  • High level of adaptability
  • Ability to provide guidance to coworkers regarding best practices
  • Ability to concurrently lead or coordinate multiple and diverse projects
  • Ability to build and utilize professional relationships to meet objectives
  • Ability to continuously learn from others and from various sources in order to improve programs and services

Company Info

Sidedoor exists to prevent, reduce and end youth homelessness.

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