First Step Charity - Supporting Community - Hospitality Chain


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First Step is an addiction, mental health and legal services hub supporting over 1,600 people each year across 14,000 appointments. Our team consists of GPs, psychologists, Nurse Practitioners, lawyers, mental health nurses and care coordinators. All for free. All from one team. All at one site.

Profile Description

First Step’s vision is a community where people who use drugs and alcohol and people living with mental distress can live well, be safe and be supported. First Step is a special place.  It’s a place of welcome, empathy and hope.  It’s a place where people who use drugs and alcohol and people living with mental distress can get all the help they want and need from one team in one place.

This stands in stark contrast to the usual model of service in Victoria which is heavily siloed and puts the onus on individuals with complex needs to track down, arrange, coordinate and implement their own supports.  It’s just too hard.  First Step Charity believes that everybody deserves every chance to turn their lives around, and we’ve assembled the team to help people do just that.

First Step Charity
First Step Charity helping people living with drugs alcohol and mental distress

Our multi-disciplinary team includes GPs, nurses, psychologists, Nurse Practitioners, mental health nurses, psycho-social works and lawyers. Together, they work as a team with clients to achieve incremental, whole-of-life improvements, working towards the individual’s hopes and dreams for the future. First Step works to keep people connected to their families, participating in society and taking control of their own lives.

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

What makes us unique is:

  • Addiction: we are firmly rooted in the ethos of harm reduction and the grassroots social justice perspective of a progressive approach to drug policy.
  • General medicine: we are a GP practice which means that we support people across their lifetime for any number of co-occurring conditions.
  • Mental health: we manage significant risk according to the principles of clinical mental health focused on agency and recovery goals.
  • Legal: we run a Community Legal Centre and are the pre-eminent example of therapeutic jurisprudence in action.

Most of our clients at first step charity need support across all four domains because many grew up in conditions of poverty and trauma and for them, using illicit substances and alcohol was ‘the only thing that kept me going’.  Providing these services from one team, in one place creates an environment where our clients can live well, be safe and be supported.

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