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At Lighthouse, young people who have been impacted by past complex trauma can learn skills to create positive life changes.

We believe that healing doesn’t mean the trauma never existed but rather that it no longer needs to control a young person’s life.

Our Lighthouse service aims to support a young person and their family / carers/ kin to better understand and manage the impacts of distressing life experiences. The service provides specialised treatment, including individual and/or group sessions, with a focus on empowering recovery and building resilience.

“It is normal to have strong emotional or physical reactions following a distressing event. On most occasions though, these reactions subside as a part of the body’s natural healing and recovery process. There are many things you can do to help cope with and recover from such an experience. A traumatic experience is any event in life that causes a threat to our safety and potentially places our own life or the lives of others at risk. As a result, a person experiences high levels of emotional, psychological, and physical distress that temporarily disrupts their ability to function normally in day-to-day life.” (Blue Knot Foundation, 2019)

Is the service for me?

Lighthouse may be for you if you are aged 12-18, live on the Gold Coast and have survived traumatic events. A traumatic event can be described as something a person finds overwhelmingly distressing or emotionally painful, often resulting in lasting mental and physical effects. Due to your traumatic experience, you may find that you…


  • avoid certain places or people
  • find it hard to trust others or have difficulties with close relationships
  • are not enjoying life or finding life difficult
  • feel hopeless, numb, angry, nervous and/or jumpy
  • have trouble controlling emotions
  • have problems sleeping
  • have difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • have unexplained headaches, stomach aches, dizziness and chest pains
  • have flashbacks and/or recurrent memories.
How does it work?

Lighthouse believes in the core values of:

Safety – Trustworthiness – Collaboration – Empowerment – Choice

We recognise that everyone’s experience and reaction to distress is unique and so treatment is individualised to your strengths and goals, recognising diversity and difference.

We believe that you are a key player in your treatment and that young people should be empowered to make choices around the treatment they receive. After we have received a referral (more on this below) we will contact you to arrange an “information session”. This is a relaxed and informal appointment where you can come in to see us with a support person, where you will meet some of the team, get information on what treatment will be like, and ask any questions so you can make an informed decision about whether you would like to work with us.

 The overall aim is to support young people who have been affected by trauma to learn skills around the management of symptoms and promote hope in healing so that every young person can fulfil their potential.

Due to the nature of trauma and its impact being unique there is not one recommended treatment approach, but instead there are principles of care recognised internationally as best practice. Known as the Blue Knot Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma, these are based on over 30 years of research.


What does treatment involve?

We are here for as long as you need us, though the program is developed to run over 18 months and is broken up into three-monthly stages.

The first three-month stage involves regular fortnightly individual sessions between a clinician and the young person, and will involve family / carers / kin as needed. They will focus on skills building, education around trauma and its impact, linking in with any other services that may be helpful and planning around next stages based on the individual’s goals.

At the end of the first stage, a review is held to plan next steps. Options include:

  • Recapping and revisiting current treatment
  • Extending treatment
  • Shifting to group sessions
  • Connecting to other supports

These reviews are held every three months to ensure the treatment is meeting the young person’s needs. 

How much does it cost?

Lighthouse is a free mental health support service.

How do I get started?

Simply give us a call on 07 5699 8248 and we can answer your questions. If you are already linked in with a regular GP or any other health care professional that knows you well, they can complete a referral on your behalf. Please let us know if you would first like to speak or meet with a Youth Peer Support Worker about the service.



You don’t need a GP referral. You can self-refer by calling our team at 07 5699 8248.

We also take referrals from:

  • GPs
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • headspace
  • Health or community support services
  • Family / Carers / Kin
  • Teachers / Guidance Officers.

Please fill in the referral form and send to [email protected]. (Kindly note self-referral or family referral do not need to complete the form, this is only for organisations and stakeholders)

Further information for referrers can be found here on our Fact Sheet. Click Here.

Where are you located?

Find us at headspace Southport – Level 1, H20 Building, 1/2 Nind Street, Southport, QLD 4215 (corner of Nind Street and Marine Parade)

Contact us

For inquiries, call 07 5699 8248, fax 07 3532 0218 or email [email protected]