Mission and view
In the Antwerp region TEJO offers first-line ambulant therapeutic counselling to young people with mental problems. TEJO is a group of youth therapists who work for the newly established Jeugdtherapeuten zonder grenzen vzw (‘Youth therapists without frontiers’; a non-profit organization) on a voluntary basis.
TEJO is an approachable, anonymous and free initiative.
TEJO is Ingrid De Jonghe’s initiative. She launched the idea for TEJO in September 2009. It is a pilot project that came into being as a reaction to the enormous lack of counselling for young people with mental problems.
The amount of children and youngsters in special child welfare has risen by 36% since 2000 (cf. current news coverage, specialist and scholarly literature, research).
There are long waiting lists for aid with the centres for mental welfare / centres for coaching of pupils and one third of the youngsters in special child welfare has mental problems.
A research project into psychosocial aid by Plantijn Hogeschool in Antwerp (2008-2009) states that 80% of the contacted services for young people (140) find that the offer to ambulant mental help is insufficient. More than 80% would make an appeal to a web of youth therapists with the expertise of special child welfare.
There is obviously an urgent need for preventive, approachable, ambulant therapeutic aid so as to be able to respond to our youngsters’ complex questions in the year 2010 in time so that the situation does not escalate. TEJO started in the premises in the Bredestraat 2 in the centre of Antwerp on 13 March 2010.
For all young people between 10 and 20 who:
have mental problems;
find benefit in a number of therapeutic conversations through which these young people are helped to regain their personal paths.
Motivated youth therapists will guide these youngsters. The therapists will get extra training to be focused better on the youngsters’ world. A support team of external experts will advise the group of youth therapists on a regular basis. This pilot project is subsidized by the province of Antwerp, the city of Antwerp, BULO and CERA. From the he project will be observed closely and the findings will be sent to the Flemish Minister of Welfare.