Review by Rik's father Arno

My name is Arnold; I am the Father of Rik, who went to Yes We Can Youth Clinics in 2017. In this piece, I would like to share the personal of my son Rik and myself and review our time with Yes We Can Youth Clinics.

Rik was born very small. He was just 28 centimetres in length and weighed 660 grams. The first three months of his life were thus risky. Fortunately, he was a brave little fellow, a fighter, and he still is to this day. For years, he received therapy and support for his development.

We were enormously proud when Rik, after primary school, could attend higher secondary education. Once he started secondary school, we quickly realised he was still too playful and easily distracted. He repeated a year and, regrettably, had to leave the school.

"There was absolutely no respect, he only cared about himself."

His great ambition was anything to do with aviation. That’s why he was delighted that he could continue his educational journey in the new course of study: vocational education in Aviation. For this study, he moved into a room in Hoofddorp. He was happy that he could finally live on his own. Freedom beckoned.

We saw that freedom can also be a danger for a young lad. The location of the student room, opposite the school, on the industrial estate, was not exactly a place that warmed your heart. This was problematic since Rik is led by his emotions and did not enjoy it there. Of course, he could hold parties with friends, but most friends did not live in those student blocks. When the party was over, he often found himself alone. He became bored, played online games, drank and more drinking, and especially smoked cannabis every day.

As parents, you do not notice this from a distance until, after a few years, it turns out that Rik has to leave school. His grades were too poor, and he was only 50% present. What do you do then as parents? Rik failed higher secondary education and now vocational education, too. We immediately put Rik to work. First, he had an unpleasant job at the bicycle parking, but soon, he could take a crash course to become a taxi driver. Rik passed his theory and practice tests straight away, which gave him a boost. He likes driving and helping people!

Shortly after, someone pointed him to the Yes We Can Youth Clinics website. He asked me and my ex-wife, his mother, to look into it because he thought it might be something for him. He realised that things were not going well with him and that he needed help! We decided to follow him, went to the intake interview, and were immediately impressed by the approach.

Rik was ready to commit. We found this incredibly brave. However, doubt also crept in. We, of course, did not know if he would continue to persevere with this journey. Rik had to stay in the clinic without a mobile phone, email, or contact with the outside world and his then-girlfriend. Yet, he decided to take the step, and on 23rd August 2017, he went to the clinic.

The first weeks were challenging because we missed him so much, but then came Bonding Day. I remember this day as if it was yesterday. For the first time, we had sincere contact with him again! Rik literally said: "This is the best day of my life; I will never use drugs again, never drink alcohol again and put my gaming computer in the attic. Besides, I'm going to exercise every day".

His mother and I were stunned but incredibly pleased with Rik's progress. Before he went to Yes We Can Clinics, there was absolutely no way to communicate with him. There was no respect; he only cared about himself and was always trying to manipulate us and turn everything to his advantage without considering the feelings of others. We were happy with the "new" Rik, but we knew he needed to keep this up. During the parent sessions, we learned that recovery only begins once Rik left the clinic.

And he did. Rik persevered and still works hard every day. He has been clean for over three years, has sold the gaming computer of his own volition, and is once again happy and cheerful. The communication between us is fun, spontaneous, and pleasant, and he is very ambitious. He is busy planning his future towards addiction care, and in 2019, he even started a new higher education course in that direction.

Rik has an apartment in Breda and enjoys life, friends, and peers who support him. His life has turned 360 degrees positive in all forms! We are glad that Rik took this step; otherwise, it would have gone completely wrong. Rik simply did not see a way out a year and a half ago.

We are thankful that Yes We Can Youth Clinics guided him so professionally and ensured that he took the right turn. He did it himself, but confronting him with the hard facts and his behaviour was the first step.

Contact us

Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teenagers and young adults who are suffering from a wide variety of mental health issues. If you have any questions at all, you can always contact us. We cannot stress enough that we are always there for you, whether you sign up for treatment in our clinic or not. 

You can reach us by phone from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (GMT +1) via phone number: +31 (0)85 02 01 222. Your call will be forwarded after business hours, on weekdays after 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends. Please note that it might take longer than usual to answer your call. If we cannot answer the call immediately, please leave a message, and we will call you back as soon as possible. You can also fill out our contact form.

Register for an intake interview

Would you like to register a teenager or young adult (aged 13-25) for treatment at Yes We Can Youth Clinics? Please fill out our intake form and we will contact you to schedule a personal intake interview.

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