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Christmas 2009
Christmas 2009
Counselling service

Western Sydney support options

A young man at a Salvation Army centre

"FYRST is about supporting the young people through their lives and not just being there sporadically. They know that they can call us any time."

Debbie - FYRST coordinator

There are two primary Salvation Army support centres for drug and alcohol issues in Western Sydney. Both focus on young people between the ages of 16 and 25.


The Follow-on Youth Recovery Support Team (FYRST) is a mobile outreach team that provides ongoing community based support to young people aged 16-25 who have successfully completed drug and/or alcohol detoxification programs. FYRST also supports current drug users who are willing and motivated to reduce or quit.

We understand that for many young people, particularly if you are in your teenage years, your environment, friends and family can have a major influence over your life.

That is why the FYRST team has great flexibility to support you within your current environment – to meet with you at home, in a local café, after work - to help you to deal with the issues that have led to your alcohol and/or drug abuse and to assist you to make the changes necessary to address your problems.

What Does FYRST Cost?
FYRST is a free service. It is an initiative of The Salvation Army Youthlink, in partnership with The Salvation Army Bridge Program and in collaboration with local health services. FYRST is operated with funding by the Department of Health and Ageing.

How can FYRST help?
FYRST offers individualised support to each person who comes for help.  It may be a one-off counselling session or it may be intensive ongoing assistance involving a combination of practical help, counselling and relapse prevention. The team offers such things as:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Relapse prevention
  • Relationship counselling
  • Drug and alcohol counselling
  • Practical assistance and referral to other services/programs in areas such as accommodation, financial and legal, trauma and health.
  • Advocacy

For more information, use the contact details listed at the bottom of this page.

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FYRST Stop provides community-based treatment and support for young people (16-25) who wish to quit or reduce their cannabis use. The service provides a range of individual and group programs that are accessible and youth-oriented. Support given is customised to suit the individual needs and goals of each young person.

FYRST Stop is funded by NSW Health and operates in partnership with Westmead Hospital’s Cannabis Clinic (Clinic E). Where necessary FYRST Stop can connect young people with Clinic E for clinical assessments, inpatient or outpatient detox, medication, and psychological or mental health services.

FYRST Stop is collaborative. Where cannabis is being used to block out other unresolved issues we are able to refer clients on to a range of specialist services who can assist them to resolve such matters. FYRST Stop is located at Suite 1, Ground Floor, 95 Phillip Street Parramatta 2150. You can contact them by phone on (02)9840 3355.

We offer a number of interactive groups to provide education, intervention and support.

Information and awareness groups - These are designed for young people who may be uncertain (‘pre-contemplative’ or ‘contemplative’) about their cannabis use. These groups are designed to be fun and interactive, to generate discussion, inform, educate, and possibly challenge certain attitudes or thoughts around cannabis.

Quit groups - These groups are aimed at young people who have decided that they want to make changes with their cannabis use and are looking for strategies and support to quit or cut down their use. Each progressive session aims to meet a particular purpose. 

On-going support groups - These groups are primarily a follow on group for those young people that have completed the ‘Quit Group’. 

Case management - FYRST Stop recognises that a young person’s cannabis use is usually coupled with other issues. FYRST Stop can provide a level of on-going case management support for clients, however where intensive on-going case management is required clients are linked up with FYRST Parramatta, which provides post treatment case management support which includes a range of practical support and assistance, information and referral as well as relapse prevention.

Outdoor activities - FYRST Stop run outdoor activity days once a month to assist young people in challenging themselves and making new friends, while enjoying drug-free fun activities e.g. fishing, camping, rock-climbing etc.   Each activity aims to serve a purpose.  For instance some clients may overcome a fear, which can then be transferred to other areas of their lives.  Others may experience themselves cannabis free for a day. 

Free drop-in information service - FYRST Stop offers a drop-in service giving the general public access to resources on cannabis, (flyers, videos, articles, reports, information on other services etc). This service enables young people, who may be hesitant to seek counselling or group work, and/or their family members, to have access to information and resources, such as cannabis quitting booklets which may encourage them to contemplate or change their circumstances.

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Contact details

FYRST Fairfield is located at 214 Sackville St, Canley Vale NSW 2166.
Phone:  (02) 9725 7779

FYRST Parramatta is located at Suite 4, Level 1 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone:  (02) 9687 3499

FYRST Stop is located at Suite 1, Ground Floor, 95 Phillip Street Parramatta 2150. Enquiries should be made through ITAAS (Intake, Triage, Assessment, Advisory Service) on (02)9840 3355.

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