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.

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I’d like help for myself

Many people who have gone through overwhelming life experiences and adversity find it hard to cope with the stresses and challenges of everyday life. For some people, the effects persist throughout their life – time does not heal all wounds.

A wide range of physical and emotional health problems may occur as a result of past traumatic events, including chronic health issues, grief, anxiety and depression, disconnection, emotional numbness, difficulty sleeping and avoidance of intimacy and new experiences. It is important to know that this is not about what is wrong with a person, it’s about what happened to them.

If you find that physical or emotional health issues are stopping you from enjoying everyday life, we recommend that you seek help. There’s no need to ‘tough it out’ and try to manage on your own – seeking support from someone you trust is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself. Sharing your feelings with a trusted, close friend or family member can be a great relief and seeking professional help can make a huge difference to your life.

You may find it easier to talk to someone who had been trained in working with people affected by forced adoption policies and practices. These people understand how your past experiences may be affecting you, and know the importance of building trust, a safe space, allowing you time to talk about your situation at your own pace, and offering you choices about your health care.

Many people find attending peer support groups helpful. Peer support groups are located in regional centres as well as in Melbourne and offer a supportive, safe space where people who have had similar experiences can openly share their experiences and support each other.  


Understanding the different kinds of help available

  • Talking to our Compass Forced Adoption Support Service is a good starting point. We can help you get a better understanding of the support options available, and can refer you to suitable health professionals or other services if you choose. You can call Compass on our dedicated number 1800 21 03 13.
  • VANISH (Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help) maintains a Register of Adoption Counsellors to assist you to find a counsellor who has knowledge of separation and adoption issues.
  • The Australian Psychological Society has a register that allows you to search for psychologists who have listed ‘adoption’ as an area of practice. (On the Search page, click on ‘Personal’ under the heading ‘All Issues’, and you’ll see Adoption listed)
  • SANE Australia has a useful article that explains the different kinds of services that can help with mental health concerns. Read it here.
  • Peer support groups are held in Melbourne and regional centres. Some peer support groups are for specific groups (such as mothers or adopted persons), others are open to anyone affected by forced adoption policies and practices. As locations, dates and times may change, it’s best to contact the organisers to check details.  

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