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.



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...

If your query requires an urgent response or is medical in nature you should phone the clinic directly.

Phone us: (03) 9537 3177

Fax us: (03) 9537 0133

Email us: [email protected]

Write to us: 42 Carlisle Street, St Kilda VIC 3182

Connect with us on social media



This has been an incredibly difficult year.  There is a lot of anxiety and fear about COVID-19 and the impact of the recession, so people look for different ways to cope.  We have already seen a change in the way people use alcohol and drugs.

Despite these challenges, we are continually heartened by the determination and courage of our clients who continue to seek support to overcome their mental illness and addiction.  

Alcohol and other drug treatments work when people can access the right kind of care at the right time, in the right place, and with clinical and social supports tailored to their needs.

This is our model, individualised and integrated, but we need your help to make sure it is available to all who need it.

Your donation will help us keep people connected, participating in society and taking control of their own lives. Our staff will support clients with a myriad of therapeutic supports as well as psycho-social support with eating well, sleeping well, keeping busy, exercising and having a purpose.

We stand together with people who are working hard to turn their lives around. 

Show your support by donating today.


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.