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Paynesville Press - May 12, 2004

Student receives mental health acheivement award

By Kayla Welle

James Jansen wins awardJames Jansen recently received an award from the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health for his outstanding achievements.

Jansen, now a junior at Paynesville Area High School, was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade. "It doesn't really affect me much," he said.

Junior James Jansen received a Youth Achievement Award from the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health recently.

Jansen's mother, Freda, nominated him for the award. She heard about it through a newsletter. It is a "Youth Achievement Award" for a youth who has "successfully met the challenges of living with a mental health disorder." She nominated him because she felt that he fit the description perfectly.

Jansen has talked in public about his ADHD to help other people. His motto is, "God will take care of us." Jansen has also worked with different types of kids with different disorders.

He has been a part of the Trail Guards for 10 years and took a two- week bike trip to Argentina in June 2003. Freda feels that these were the primary reasons why he received the award.

Jansen received the award at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference in Duluth in April. "It was an honor, and I was very suprised when I heard that I had won the award," said Jansen.

At the three-day conference, he enjoyed listening to many different speakers. It was primarily an informational conference with parents, teachers, and health care providers.

Jansen talked with some of the health care providers because they wanted a youth's point of view on mental disorders. "You just have to have a stronger will than most people," according to Jansen, who said that his ADHD doesn't really affect him very much except when he doesn't take his medication. "It's hard to understand," he added.

Jansen is involved in football and wrestling at PAHS and is also very active in his church youth group. After high school, he plans to go into agriculture. "You can always do what you put your mind to," said Jansen regarding his future plans.

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