MSRS Counsellor Access Health and Community


About Access Health and Community

With a history of 150 years and caring at our centre, our mission and commitment is to build healthier lives within our communities and to deliver excellent health and community services for all.  We have a dedicated and experienced team of over 400 employees and 200 volunteers operating across 18 locations. Our people are the centre of everything we do, making a contribution to the wellbeing of the community every day through our work, making a difference every day to those that need it most.

About the role

This is an exciting opportunity to join our thriving community health care organisation and work within a truly supportive value based culture and engaged workforce at Access Health and Community. We are seeking a passionate and suitably qualified MSRS Counsellor to join our enthusiastic and motivated highly skilled multi-disciplinary Alcohol and Other Drug services team across the locations of Hawthorn and Doncaster East.

We are flexible to offer the successful candidate a Permanent Full Time/or Part time position.

The primary responsibility of this role MSRS Counsellor is to provide support to clients within a recovery-orientated model, employing a  s t r e ng t h s – b a se d  client-centred and family inclusive approach to substance use. The MRSR Counsellor will use a dual diagnosis framework and ‘no wrong door’ approach in their assessment and treatment of people presenting to our service.

The MSRS will provide specialist assessment, therapeutic counselling, medical support and care co-ordination for individuals and families affected by pharmaceutical dependence and misuse and the MSRS team consists of therapeutic counsellors, specialist nurses, peer support workers, project officers and a project co-ordinator. The MSRS Counsellor will sit in the broader Alcohol and Other Drug service at Access Health & Community, supported by the Manager and Senior Clinician.

The MSRS Counsellor will work with individuals and families affected by pharmaceutical misuse, including those who also misuse or are dependent on other substances (such as alcohol or illicit drugs). Therapeutic interventions may include; brief interventions, psychoeducation/ overdose awareness, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), harm reduction and relapse prevention. This role may require some after-hours service delivery.

The Medication Support and Recovery Service also offers peer support, family counselling, single-family sessions and clinical nursing/ withdrawal support services. In addition, all clients who present to the Alcohol and Other Drug service at AccessHC are able to access a range of community-based health services at AccessHC, including GPs, nursing and dental services.

What you will be doing

  • Conduct high quality comprehensive and client-centred assessments (including risk assessment) of clients presenting to the AOD service, using Department of Health and Human Services AOD assessment tools and other relevant assessment tools and outcome measures as appropriate
  • Conduct screening for mental health and other co-occurring conditions where appropriate, using a dual diagnosis framework
  • Develop and implement collaborative Individual Recovery Plans and treatment plans with clients and families based on a comprehensive assessment, to support treatment goals and recovery
  • Facilitate and complete referrals to other health, mental health AOD and welfare support services where appropriate (including residential withdrawal, rehabilitation and supported accommodation)
  • Participate in clinical review, peer supervision case conferencing, intake and allocation meetings in the AOD team as required
  • Providing clinical assessment and outpatient treatment services to individuals and families affected by pharmaceuticals (including prescription and over-the-counter medications), including those who have problems with other types of substances
  • Facilitating referrals into the program via clinical intake, and referral pathways with external agencies
  • Conducting comprehensive clinical assessments, developing collaborative individual treatment plans and making referrals to support the client’s goals regarding their pharmaceutical misuse
  • Providing therapeutic counselling for individuals and families affected by pharmaceutical misuse, using evidence-based treatments and a dual diagnosis framework
  • Participate in shared care plans in collaboration with internal services and external agencies as required
  • Participate in case management and service coordination practices with other professionals, supporting the clients’ journey through relevant treatment services
  • Supporting clients to reduce the risk of overdose and other harms relating to pharmaceutical misuse
  • Providing MSRS intake services, secondary consult and other aspects of the program delivery as required
  • This role works as a sole practitioner within the MSRS program with support and multidisciplinary input from the MSRS Nurse Practitioner and peer workers

What you will bring

Key Selection Criteria

  • Tertiary qualifications in Alcohol and Other Drugs or related discipline or a minimum of 3 years demonstrated experience working with adults and families in the AOD sector
  • Recognised tertiary qualifications in psychology, social work, counselling or related field, with demonstrated skills, training and experience in therapeutic counselling interventions
  • Demonstrated understanding of AOD and dual diagnosis treatment principles. Skills and experience in a range of AOD interventions relating to substance use (including assessment, brief intervention, clinical risk assessment and management, family support, therapeutic counselling and case management/care coordination)
  • Demonstrated high level of knowledge and understanding of the AOD treatment sector, the mental health sector and community support services
  • Demonstrated understanding of pharmaceutical overdose, including clinical risk assessment and management, overdose awareness, pharmacotherapy treatment options and harm reduction
  • Demonstrated service co-ordination practices with internal and external service providers (including primary health/medical sector) and the ability to provide holistic care for clients presenting with a broad range of substance use and psychosocial needs


  • Specific experience delivering family-focussed interventions (such as family single sessions or family counselling) and group programs (Desirable)
  • Understanding of harm minimisation and reduction principles and ability to work with a recovery-oriented model
  • Experience using electronic health records and reporting software, including TrakCare
  • The ability to maintain high level assessment documents, client records, reports and case notes
  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • The ability to work respectfully and creatively with a culturally and linguistically diverse client population, including Indigenous Australians and LGBTQIA+ community
  • The ability to take initiative in the workplace, be flexible in your approach and be a self-directed learner
  • Effective time management and prioritisation skills
  • Well-developed presentation and report writing skills
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated behaviours consistent with AccessHC values

Access Health and Community Culture & Benefits

At Access Health and Community, we offer more than just a fulfilling career: – we provide an environment where you can thrive in a culture of collaboration and support. Our team members share a common commitment and passion to make a positive impact, and we believe that this shared ethos creates a range of benefits for all who work with us. From opportunities for personal and professional growth to a sense of purpose and belonging, our culture promotes an environment of success and fulfilment. Come join us and experience the rewards of a career where you truly make a difference.

The position encompasses an extensive range of benefits that are on offer:

  • A truly supportive and valued based culture and engaged workforce
  • A culture of trust and empowerment for people to grow and thrive
  • Commitment to a work-life balance with flexible working conditions
  • An authentic focus on staff wellbeing and health- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • A commitment to ongoing professional Development and career growth
  • Paid parental leave and opportunity to purchase additional leave
  • Annual leave Loading
  • A truly supportive and valued based culture and engaged workforce
  • A culture of trust and empowerment for people to grow and thrive
  • Commitment to a work-life balance with flexible working conditions
  • Generous salary packaging opportunities(up to $15,990 per annum + $2,650 meals/entertainment expenses)
  • A commitment to ongoing professional development and career growth

Read about our culture and benefits:

Apply Now

If this position resonates with you and you are passionate about working alongside a collaborative and supportive team, please forward your resume and a cover letter addressing the key selection criteria.  Please refer to the position description on our website for the key selection criteria information:

Please reach out to AOD Manager, Rachel Shankland for further information and/or the opportunity to discuss this role. E: [email protected]

Apply now so you do not miss this opportunity, as we will be assessing applications as they are submitted and may appoint the role before the end of the application date.

Applications close date:  18th September, 2023

Access Health and Community is a Child Safe Organisation that values inclusivity and diversity. We encourage applications form people with disabilities, those with mental health and/or AOD recovery experience, and those with diverse genders and sexualities. We also support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those form culturally and linguistically diverse background. As a vaccine positive organisation, we encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and offer disability services, requiring successful applicants to undergo a NDIS Workers Screening Check, Working With Children Check, Police Check and potentially an International Check. Access Health and Community acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to Wurundjeri Elders past and present and future, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.




Access Health and Community

Job Salary

Full time