MPOWER to hire a "first-of-its-kind" Chemsex Support Worker

The fabulous folks at MPOWER are seeking to employ a dedicated support worker aimed at providing nonjudgemental harm reduction to gbMSM who partake in chemsex.

MPOWER to employ Chemsex Support Worker - 4 staff of empower lined up in front of a red door at the offices of HIV Ireland. Each is wearing a progressive rainbow flag face mask.
Image: Babs Daly

HIV Ireland has today announced that they are seeking a suitable person to fill the role of Chemsex Support Worker under the MPOWER programme. 

The successful applicant will be dedicated to providing support to gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (gbMSM) experiencing difficulties with club drug use and supporting those engaged in chemsex.

They will work one-on-one in a confidential and nonjudgemental capacity to provide person-centred care that reflects the rights, preferences, and choices of individuals in an environment that is safe, healthy and maintains the individual’s dignity and wellbeing. 

The new Chemsex Support Worker will also work directly with gbMSM who use club drugs and/or engage in chemsex, to provide them with knowledge and resources to proactively manage their use, reduce the risk of HIV and STI acquisition, and to prevent overdoses and other negative health outcomes.

In line with the new position, MPOWER aim to run a series of workshops covering harm reduction and relapse prevention. They will also pilot a chemsex peer support group and expand their harm reduction resources in consultation with gbMSM engaging in chemsex.

The MPOWER  Programme at HIV Ireland is a suite of peer-driven community-level interventions which aim to achieve a reduction in the acquisition of HIV and STIs and an overall improvement of sexual health and wellbeing among gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men (gbMSM).

They specifically devise sex-positive, judgement-free and harm reduction-based resources, services and supports where the needs of gbMSM have or can be identified. 

The programme strives to be inclusive of the diverse identities within the community of gbMSM and to incorporate the experiences of those living with HIV and those who are vulnerable to acquiring HIV. Their work covers a wide range of areas including mental, physical, and social health.

MPOWER Programme Manager Adam Shanley had this to say about the role:

The purpose of the MPOWER Programme is to identify and respond to our sexual health and wellbeing needs. While chemsex and the use of club drugs can be a pleasurable and explorative experience for many, others experience difficulties — we believe it’s incumbent on us, as a community, to create services that support those who want to manage their use. We’ve been advocating for the development of services for a number of years now, so we’re really excited to have been funded by the HSE to devise a new programme of work and in doing so, add a new member to the MPOWER team. The role is the first of its kind in Ireland and is a unique opportunity for a suitably qualified person to make a huge impact in a groundbreaking new service.

To find out more about applying for the new position of Chemsex Support Worker, click here.

The closing date for applications is Monday, January 10, 2022.

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