First Step was founded in July 2000 by Peter White OAM with assistance from Dr Simon Rose and Tim Costello AO. The trio were responding then to what they perceived to be a critical need for low cost, effective treatment for people addicted to heroin.
To learn more about our history, watch this short animation that was made in celebration of our 20th anniversary:
Today, First Step is a for-purpose addiction, mental health and legal services hub supporting over 1,800 people each year.
Our model of care is designed to address the systemic barriers faced by people with complex mental health issues and addiction when trying to access appropriate treatment and support.
We focus on incremental, whole of life improvements that build gently towards stabilisation of physical and mental health. We work to keep people connected to their families, participating in society and taking control of their own lives.
This is delivered by a uniquely multi-disciplinary team of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, mental health nurses, care coordinators, counsellors and psycho-social supports.
All for free. All from one team. All at one site.
At First Step, we believe that chronic addiction is generally a long-term, painful adaptation to childhood abuse and neglect, and that timely and effective treatment is a matter of social justice that benefits all of society. We work to keep people connected to their families, participating in society and taking control of their own lives.
Our goal is to provide vulnerable Victorians with all the support they want and need from one team in one place. Ultimately, we believe that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around.
First Step does not provide after hours or emergency advice or support. Should you need support when we are closed, please call the Home Doctor Service on 13 74 25 or 000 for emergencies.