connectEDspace - support for young people

Young people can face all sorts of pressures – including problems at school, with friends or at home.
connectEDspace is a website by Relationships Australia Victoria (RAV), dedicated to young people to help provide all the information they need to deal with the stuff they go through each day.

Aboriginal Family and Relationship Support

RAV provides support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and individuals to help strengthen family relationships.

Counselling provides an opportunity to talk with a professionally trained person to discuss couple issues, conflicts with friends, relationship breakdown, parenting, domestic violence, anxiety, depression, grief, sexual problems, childhood sexual abuse, stress and work related tensions and disputes.


Our services are for all members of the community, regardless of their religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, cultural background or economic circumstances. We respect the rights of all people in all their diversity to live life fully within their families and communities with dignity and safety, and to enjoy healthy relationships.

Our objective is to relieve the suffering, distress and helplessness of vulnerable and disadvantaged people so as to enhance their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

We know that safe, healthy relationships are the key to wellbeing. Loneliness and social isolation are associated with a range of poor mental, physical and socio economic outcomes. 

Adolescents who do not have close friendships and good social networks consistently report lower levels of self-esteem, more psychological symptoms of maladjustment, and are at higher risk of suicide.

There is also a relationship between social isolation and depression (Rubin & Mills, 1998), lower levels of self-worth (Qualter & Munn, 2002) and poor physical health. For example, people who are socially isolated, or do not have good quality social support, are also at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease.

The risk factors for loneliness and social isolation include being widowed or separated, childless, living alone, experiencing deteriorating health or significant life events such as loss and bereavement. Other factors include age and low income, particularly for women. Loneliness for men has been found to generally increase with ageing, while loneliness for women generally decreases as they age (Baker, 2012; Flood 2005; Grenade & Boldy, 2008).

More than 2,500 people responded to a national Relationships Australia survey on loneliness in October 2014. The survey found that close to one in four women and one in three men did not have someone to help them out if they were in need.

Survey results indicated that close to 90 per cent of both men and women felt better after talking with someone. Around three quarters of the 2,500 survey respondents said they agreed with the statement that they ‘often felt very lonely when feeling down’.

We work with individuals, couples, families and communities to promote, strengthen, and enhance relationships to help reduce loneliness and social isolation, and consequently minimise the associated emotional, mental and physical risks.

In 2015 / 2016, we provided a range of services to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, including:

  • Men’s behaviour change programs through our Family Violence programs.
  • Culturally-specific Men’s Behaviour Change Programs.
  • Women’s programs including support groups.
  • i-Connect Family Mental Health Support Services.
  • Reclaim Support Services for survivors of child sexual abuse or those affected by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (link)
  • Counselling, dispute resolution and other services for those experiencing financial hardship
  • A free counselling and community support program for those affected by Extreme Climatic Events in East Gippsland.
  • Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services including child-inclusive FDR.
  • Compass Support Services for those affected by forced adoption practices.

We also participated in community-building activities such as pamper days for women in regional and remote areas, art-focused therapy programs and family-focused activities providing fathers who may be experiencing disadvantage with the opportunity to spend time with their children.

We support, participate in and promote conferences, seminars, forums and community events such as Harmony Day and White Ribbon Day.



  • Qualter, P. & Munn, P. (2002). The separateness of social isolation in childhood.  Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(2):233-244.
  • Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W., & Parker, J. G. (1998). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. In W. Damon & N. Eisenberg (Eds), Handbook of child psychology (5th), Vol. 3:619-700. New York: Wiley.
  • Baker D. (2012). All the Lonely People: loneliness in Australia, 2001-2009, The Australia Institute. 
  • Flood M. (2005). Mapping Loneliness in Australia. Discussion Paper Number 76. The Australia Institute. 
  • Grenade L. & Boldy D. (2008). Social isolation and loneliness among older people: issues and future challenges in community and residential settings. Australian Health Review, August, Vol 32(3).