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People arrive at First Step with all of their life experiences – trauma, poor mental or physical health, legal issues, addiction, or housing insecurity.

Whatever it is that is going on, we are here to help.

We know that chronic addiction is often a long-term, painful response to childhood trauma, abuse and neglect. Our team works across mental health, addiction and legal services to share the load, so clients don’t have to do it alone.

The journey is rarely smooth, but together, we know we can make a difference.

First Step is a not-for-profit addiction, mental health and legal services hub in St Kilda, Melbourne. 

We provide free services to thousands of vulnerable Victorians every year, with the firm belief that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around. 

First Step provides a uniquely multi-disciplinary team of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, mental health nurses, care coordinators, counsellors, men’s and women’s groups.

All for free. All from one team. All at one site.


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Welcome to First Step



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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides eligible people with a Capacity Building Support budget. This funding helps build independence and skills to support people to pursue their goals.

A specific category...

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General Practitioners

First Step’s General Practitioners (GPs) form the core of the support team, providing primary care, planning and referral. They may work with the client on:

• Replacement pharmacotherapy (methadone, buprenorphine, suboxone or...

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Mental health services

First Step’s mental health services include flexible support for people with moderate to severe mental illness, and can include mental health nursing, psychological counselling, care coordination and psychiatry.

Mental Health Integrated Complex...

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“I reached out to First Step in desperation when I needed to see a doctor. I don’t know what I would have done if you weren’t able to help?

The First Step team treated me so well, they were so nice and friendly and welcoming and it makes a world of difference to be treated that way. And it wasn’t just me, I overheard them speaking on the phone to other people as well as saw them interact with other patients as they came and went and they treated everyone with the same amount of respect and it was just so nice to see.

I am sure you are already aware but you have a wonderful bunch of people working there. It makes a world of difference to be treated well and I just wanted to let you know.” 

- First Step client

Latest News Updates

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Impact Evaluation

December 13, 2023

First Step has been funded by the John T Reid Charitable Trusts to undertake an independent, 2-year impact evaluation of our work. Our partners on this project will be Turning Point led by the renowned team of Dr Annette Peart and Dr Victoria Manning....

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First Step's statement on the Voice to Parliament

September 08, 2023

First Step is proud to support a Yes vote in the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum. In the video below, CEO Patrick Lawrence talks about our position, and encourages our community to engage respectfully in the debate.

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