Yes We Can Youth Clinics was founded by Jan Willem Poot. Many years ago, Jan Willem had to deal with his own behavioural and addiction problems. He was trapped in an increasingly negative downward spiral, involving not only his own life, but also the lives of his family and all those around him.

Jan Willem: “At some point, you end up at the door of various organisations offering help, day-treatment programmemes, clinics or treatment centres; I have seen many. I knew just what the psychologists wanted to hear and that was what I told them. I experienced enormous pain, fear and feelings of powerlessness. They did not succeed in helping me escape that situation and failed to win my trust. I believe that many young people will not be able to experience change in these types of settings and organisations. They need something else, something more, a different kind of healthcare professional who can get through to them.

On 16 November 2004, I arrived at a place where virtually no questions were asked. Someone just began telling me ‘his’ story instead of me needing to repeat my personal story yet another time. I listened for a full hour, completely absorbed in his story. There was so much I recognised. So many thoughts were similar to mine. I heard so many wrong decisions that were exactly the same… It was all so familiar! Finally, I felt it click! I got a warm feeling. This man really understood me. He could not be deceived by smooth talk. I trusted him; he could really help me. I decided to go for it! They taught me things that were really useful to me, confronted me with reality and provided me with a workable structure. The many sports activities, the thorough explanations, the individual sessions with my own counsellor and the group therapy sessions with people just like me, but from different backgrounds with different problems… I began to change. From that day onwards, I have never felt the need again to use, drink, manipulate or tell lies and today my life is just fantastic.”

Based on his own experiences and the best-practices of other clinics, Jan Willem started Yes We Can Youth Clinics together with a team of healthcare professionals. By now, he has worked with troubled youth and their families for more then a decade.Yes We Can Youth Clinics have also been strong supporters and partners of iCAAD for a number of years. They continue being our Global Partner this year. We were so proud to see that the BBC had visited their clinic and written a great report about all the incredible work they are doing.

You can read the full article published by the BBC here: