First Step is a small clinic located in St.Kilda, Victoria. Our mission is the delivery of compassionate and non-judgemental treatment of mental ill-health and substance use disorders.  Our treatment model leverages the collective expertise of addiction medicine GP's, mental health nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, criminal & family violence lawyers, case co-ordinators and peer workers (among others) all working together to achieve an optimal outcome for each individual.  All services are delivered free of charge.

As governments, health experts and others increasingly advocate for multidisciplinary 'hubs' First Step stands proudly as the pioneer mental health & addiction hub in Australia.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm 

Our Approach

Client Care

First Step Approach – Client Care Client care at First Step involves a fundamental focus on the well-being of clients read more...


First Step defines collaboration as bringing professional view-points from different areas of expertise together to better achieve a desired outcome read more...


First Step Approach – Integration Integration in the context of First Step refers to our commitment to ensure that each read more...


We’re a friendly bunch. Call us 03 9537 3177 or send us a message with a question or enquiry and we’ll get in touch.

Patrick Lawrence

CEO, First Step

9537 3177

FB: @thefirststepprogram



You can help some of Melbourne's most vulnerable people access the resources they need to find support, to stabilize their physical and mental health and to empower them on their journey to recovery from addiction and mental ill-health.

For nearly 20 years First Step has been working at the coal face to support people with mental ill-health and substance use disorders.  In direct response to need First Step has developed a treatment model that is intrinsically collaborative. It is a model that leverages the collective experience of our addiction medicine GP's, our credentialed mental health nurses, our psychologists, pyschiatrists, criminal & family violence lawyer, case co-ordinators and peer workers to provide every opportunity for every one of our clients to turn their lives around.

Your generosity will help us to support more people when they need it most.  Your gift will help to fund an additional consulting space in which to help approximately 1500 additional people each year.

Thank you for helping to change lives. 


About Giving Tuesday

December 3rd 2019 is Giving Tuesday.  A global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage giving and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Every year, on Giving Tuesday, millions of people around the world mobilize to show up and give back in a quest to change their communities for the better.  The goal is to create a wave of generosity and a sense of goodwill that will linger well beyond December 3rd touching the heart of every person on the planet.


From our Patron Rev. Tim Costello

My involvement with First Step began with the establishment of the clinic in July 2000, as one of the clinic’s founding directors. First Step was created to meet a need for low-cost, effective treatment options, primarily for people using heroin that would assist them to overcome their drug dependence. One person’s drug use can have an extraordinary ripple effect that takes in their immediate family, friends and the broader community.

First Step aims to provide the necessary support and treatment options, accessible to all, that enable those seeking the clinic’s assistance to live a life in all its fullness. In addition to a fervent belief in maintaining affordability. First Step is committed to treating people with the respect and compassion they deserve and working with them in engaging as fulfilled members of the community.