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Indigenous Program Specialist (IPS), Mental Health First Aid

Job Information
Author mentalhealthcommissionofcanada
Date December 7, 2016
Type Full Time
Company Mental Health Commission of Canada
Salary To be determined - Annual
Location Ottawa
Category Business / Management
Contact Information

Indigenous Program Specialist (IPS), Mental Health First Aid

Reports To:                                         Manager, Business Development and Planning

Status:                                                  Full Time, Permanent

Location:                                             Ottawa, Ontario

Application Deadline:                   September 7, 2016. Interviews may take place prior to application deadline.



The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a non-profit organization created to focus national attention on mental health issues and to work to improve the health and social outcomes of people living with mental health problems and illnesses.


For the first 10 years, the Commission had a mandate to develop a Mental Health Strategy for Canada; to implement a ten-year Anti-Stigma/Anti-Discrimination program; to develop a Knowledge Exchange Centre for the mental health field and to address homelessness in the context of mental health problems.  The Commission has now been renewed for another 10 years to continue its important work.


The Mental Health Commission’s office is located in Ottawa, Ontario.


Mental Health First Aid, a Program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Since its beginning in 2007, MHFA Canada has certified over 1000 instructors across the country, and through them has trained more than 190,000 Canadians in Mental Health First Aid.    It is the program’s intention to have Canadians trained in mental health first aid in every workplace and community in every province. For more information about Mental Health First Aid, please visit



In partnership with national Indigenous leaders, MHFA Canada has developed versions of MHFA specific to Indigenous people and communities.  MHFA Canada is seeking an individual to be the main point of contact for the Indigenous Mental Health First Aid programs.  This role is diverse and includes a wide scope of business development activities as well as some logistical and operational duties.


The MHCC is committed to a process of reconciliation and learning, which will position us to walk alongside communities who are leading efforts to address their mental wellness needs.  Accordingly, we are taking measures to build cultural competence and are dedicating resource to sustained and meaningful engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Metis.  The Indigenous Program Specialist (IPS) will provide advice, coaching and education to MHFA and Opening Minds (OM) programs to ensure culturally appropriate practices are followed, respectful of Indigenous knowledge, practices and protocols.  Additionally, the IPS will work collaboratively with colleagues from other MHCC Programs and Departments on collective actions toward cultural competency and reconciliation across all MHCC operations.


This individual will build relationships with Indigenous organizations and individuals in order to increase the number of Canadians certified in Mental Health First Aid and to assist in various business development activities related to marketing the courses. Reporting to the Manager, Business Development and Planning with a dotted line to the Director of MHFA and OM, the IPS will promote participation in Indigenous Mental Health First Aid courses across Canada. The IPS will be responsible for developing and tracking business contacts and prospects, and promotions opportunities.  The IPS in collaboration with the Manager Business Development will assist in identifying and prioritizing market opportunities to enable growth and ensure that the program and marketing efforts support the MHFA program strategies and goals.


The Indigenous Program Specialist (IPS) will also ensure that all aspects of MHFA Canada’s Indigenous courses are organized and implemented efficiently, effectively, and in a manner consistent with and respectful of Indigenous culture.  Working closely with Indigenous communities, leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Traditional Teachers: from receiving application information and reserving venues to liaising with instructors and participants and processing accounts payable/receivable, the Indigenous Program Specialist is the hub of MHFA Canada’s Indigenous logistical operations.  You will work closely with the MHFA Operations team as well as with the MHFA Business Development team to ensure each individual who has an enquiry or wants to become certified has the information required to do so.  You are expected to answer all inquiries, whether by email or telephone, appropriately within 2 business days.  As part of your liaison role, you will deal with all issues, questions and problems arising from venues, agencies, contract trainers, applicants, and instructors. Your attention to detail, flexibility, resourcefulness and organizational skills will be your best assets in tackling the many aspects of this exciting position.


The successful candidate will have program support experience in a health-related discipline with at least three years relevant experience in First Nations and Inuit Mental Wellness. The incumbent requires an understanding of mental wellness, mental health and relationships of First Nations and Inuit in Canada. Extensive knowledge of the administrative processes within the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministries and Departments of Health, along with demonstrated knowledge of regional stakeholders is an asset. The incumbent brings experience collaborating with public and/or private stakeholders and government organizations on mental wellness.




  • Business Development
  • Use formal and informal avenues to promote the MHFA program, specifically the MHFA First Nations and MHFA Inuit courses
  • Liaise with Indigenous agencies to identify opportunities and maintain excellent relationships with prospective clients
  • Ensure MHFA is properly represented online and at Indigenous events
  • Identify, respond to, and track opportunities for involvement in conferences and events to promote MHFA First Nations and MHFA Inuit
  • Represent MHFA at various meetings, events and conferences
  • Administer contracts for MHFA First Nations and MHFA Inuit course delivery
  • Assist with marketing activities
  • Ensure accurate Salesforce database records are kept of new, ongoing, and closed opportunities for agency and community courses
  • Follow up with agencies that request MHFA courses information


  • Program Support of Mental Health First Aid First Nations, Mental Health First Aid Inuit.
  • Intake and processing all instructor candidates
  • Ensure all applications for MHFA instructor training are received, acknowledged, assessed, and added to the course attendee list within 1 week of receipt.
  • Create and administer profiles for all participants in instructor courses on the MHFA extranet.
  • Act as a resource for all instructors regarding logistical relationship with MHFA


  • Coordinate MHFA Instructor courses
    • Ensure all venues for courses are reserved in advance and that invoices are paid upon completion
    • Prepare and track contracts for Master Trainers
    • Ensure all Contract Trainers are aware of their course schedules
    • Coordinate all travel and accommodation for Master Trainers
    • Post courses to website
    • Coordinate shipment of all materials
  • Coordinate MHFA Agency courses
    • Liaise with MHFA Business Development team to track agency courses
    • Liaise with agency contact regarding all course logistics
    • Prepare and track contracts for Contract Trainers
    • Coordinate shipment of all materials
  • General
    • Respond to or forward to the appropriate person all incoming email from the MHFA First Nations inbox within 2 business days of receipt.
    • Review, revise, and develop procedure and policy documents related to the responsibilities of the role.
  • Other duties as required




  • Being able to function if both official languages is an asset
  • Experience with event planning and event management
  • High degree of confidence being main point of contact for public enquiries
  • High level proficiency with Microsoft Office (testing will occur during interview)
  • Ability to work in a high-pressure environment with aggressive timelines
  • Highly motivated and able to work independently
  • Results driven
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and writing skills
  • Ability to proactively identify, manage and mitigate risks
  • Ability to manage a reasonable volume of work with competing priorities within constrained time frames
  • Ability to interact professionally with internal and external contacts
  • Personal integrity, sound judgment and an honest and ethical approach
  • Excellent networking skills




  • Bachelor’s degree, Diploma or Certificate in related area, or an equivalent combination of experience.
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience working collaboratively with First Nations and/or Inuit communities
  • Minimum 2-4 years’ experience in event management in First Nations and/or Inuit communities
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience in mental health or related field
  • Knowledge of Salesforce an asset
  • Bilingualism preferred



Values and Ethics

Respectful of Diversity

Continuous Learning

Results Management

Team work and Cooperation

Oral\Written Communication

Health, Safety and Wellness (physical and psychological)

See Commission Competency Framework – Employee Level, Organizational and Core for details.



  • Moderate periods of time spent in meeting type settings
  • Extended visual requirements (5 plus hours) due to computer related work
  • Extended periods of time spent in sitting position (computer work, meetings etc. 5 plus hours)
  • Moderate requirement for multi-tasking and effectively dividing attention to numerous duties and responsibilities
  • High degree of concentration required
  • Highly attentive to details
  • Moderate level exposure to extended travel requirements (up to 10% and greater at times) and extension of work day beyond 7.5 hours
  • High analytical and interpretive requirements
  • Must be comfortable working in open space environments



  • Continuously deadline driven requirements
  • Moderate-High level exposure to stress including but not limited to crisis phone calls resulting from complex interactions, stakeholder relations, and output requirements.
  • Moderate level requirement to maintain concentration for extended periods of time in order to maximize stakeholder engagement, perform situational strategic analysis and interpretation of data and minimize errors.
  • Capacity to effectively organize and prioritize own work.
  • Moderate to high degree of emotional intelligence required in order to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, influence and inspire others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
  • Responsive to possible rapid changes in priorities;
  • Adaptable to change (organizational and environmental)
  • Performance goals and objectives are established yearly and regularly reviewed.


The Mental Health Commission of Canada is committed to diversity in the workplace and workplace well-being. As such, applications from individuals from diverse backgrounds such as; First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, members of a visible minority group and those with lived experience of mental health problems or illnesses are welcomed and encouraged.


The Mental Health Commission of Canada welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.


Accessible formats and communication supports for applicants are available upon request by contacting Human Resources at


Please apply for this position on our website at:


While we appreciate all applications, only those selected for interviews will be contacted



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