PROUD. Proud of Yes We Can Youth Clinics as an organisation, proud of all 330 colleagues who worked so hard past year. But above all proud of all the 800 youngsters and families who struggled with serious mental health issues and who, despite the challenging situation in which we all live, still managed to find the courage and strength to work on themselves at Yes We Can Youth Clinics past year. They fought really hard with only one goal in mind: a better, more positive life.
Fighting is what all colleagues have done over the past year. They have worked incredibly hard to be able to be there for the fellows 24/7 in spite of everything. They have put everything aside to continue to offer the 'Yes We Can care'. They have been flexible in adapting to all the changes and measures. They worked through the evenings and weekends, arranging everything for youngsters and their families to be able to travel to the Netherlands, while a lot of borders were closed. Setting up our own test street, so that all young people and colleagues can be tested on a daily basis. All to guarantee the safety of the young people, their parents and our colleagues, so that we could continue to provide the care that the youngsters so desperately need!
Especially now, the whole world needs warmth and connection. Something which, unfortunately, the youngsters who come to Yes We Can have not always been able to experience due to heavy circumstances. They have lost the connection with their friends, family and especially with themselves. Fortunately, it is during the festive season that we pay extra attention to the fellows at Yes We Can. In this way they can feel that connection with the other youngsters in the clinic and with themselves. They deserve to experience some extra warmth and conviviality these days. That is why we not only celebrate Christmas with a huge Christmas dinner, where colleagues will serve the youngsters dressed in dinner jackets and gala dresses. We also celebrated ‘Sinterklaas’, a Dutch tradition. On top of that, there will be a celebration for all the fellows in the clinic for New Year's Eve.
Fortunately, there were many more great moments past year. At the beginning of this year, we organised a dinner for referrers in London in collaboration with IDF (Independent Doctors Federation). We opened a 'coach home' for all of our youth coaches. A beautiful place where they can relax in their spare time or sleep during their 4-day shift. Furthermore, we participated in several online conferences, such as ICAAD (London), Outstanding Schools (UAE) and IACAPAP (Singapore). It's great to see how organisations can switch and adapt so quickly to have entire conferences recreated virtually. With the aim to be able to continue the conversation about the importance of mental health in teenagers and young adults.
Special developments in unique times! This, together with the fierce but beautiful stories of our former fellows, makes that media regularly found their way to us. Amongst others, we appeared in an Italian documentary (Patti Chiari), in Spears 500 (worldwide), in Mashable Italy, Happiful (UK), online platform Education UAE and Aftenposten Norway. Partly because of this we see that many families around the world are becoming hopeful again and start looking for the right help for them.
And the right mental healthcare remains desperately needed. Our ambition to provide young people all around the world with specialised mental healthcare remains. We still see that more and more young people really need this care. But how do we ensure that they need as little specialised care as possible? Or better still, how do we ensure that they do not get into this ‘care system’ at all? Past year, we saw with our own eyes how a pandemic could make mental health even more important than ever. The intense stories of youngsters and their families and the insights that are becoming more and more visible due to the current situation in which we live, give us even more strength to continue with what we are doing; offering the best care possible to these vulnerable young people who are our future!
We are pleased to see that more and more attention is being paid to the (mental) well-being of young people. Among youngsters themselves, in schools, in the news, but also in government and politics. At Yes We Can we continue to talk about this and we never sit still. We always look at how we can do even better. More professional. More efficient. Fortunately, we have some great plans for the future again, with an ambition to moving a step closer to the realisation of these plans in 2021.
2020 was an eventful year, but with beautiful and special developments. In 2021 and the following years, we will be able to offer many more youngsters and their families from all over the world a stepping stone towards a brighter and better future. A future they deserve!
We wish everyone love, warmth and health during the festive season. May 2021 be a year full of opportunities, hope, dreams, ambition and happiness!
Jan Willem Poot – Founder Yes We Can Youth Clinics
Marcel Pierre – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Hedzer Schotsman – Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Piet Jansen - (Director International Relations)