Serving Where the Need Is Greatest

Laurel Kimpton standing in front of a field

Laurél Kimpton

Laurél Kimpton’s mission is simple: to get the people who are seeking recovery the services they need. In rural Minnesota, this is especially challenging. Treatment centers and government buildings are usually located in the nearest large city, making access more difficult. Travel time means hours away from work and family, and public transportation is often limited or nonexistent. This leads to missed treatment appointments or court dates.

“As much as I love working face-to-face with clients,” says Kimpton, “I also feel called to work systemically to help develop a more functional system.”

Birth of a Career Path

Kimpton became interested in studying addiction while pursuing her associate’s degree. During an internship as an integrative health educator at Rum River Health Services, she worked with chemically dependent adult clients, where she created a curriculum of stress reduction techniques for those in recovery, as well as the clinic’s staff members.

Laurel Kimpton standing in front of a red building

Her interest grew while she was earning her undergraduate degree in Community Psychology at Saint Cloud State University. There, she completed an internship at the Veterans Resource Center on campus, connecting student veterans with mental health and employment services along with benefits available on and off campus.

Many of the veterans she met there were dealing with stress and anxiety stemming from trauma. Kimpton wanted to learn more about how to help those who were struggling with a substance use disorder triggered by a traumatic experience.

“My interest for working in the addictions field was cemented.”

Ready for the Field

Kimpton researched other addiction studies programs but chose the Addictions Counseling master's degree because of the University of Minnesota’s academic reputation and because, as a nontraditional student, the program fit well into her busy schedule.

“I truly enjoyed my experience,” Kimpton says, “from the fabulous cohort of students I was privileged to work with to the well-informed instructors who all passionately instructed us and challenged us to expand our vision of how to assist this ever-growing population.”

“I look forward to helping educate and connect those in need to the services that are available.”

An empty road lined with trees and grass

“I live in the northern fringes of the Twin Cities area,” she continues, “and for many reasons, wanted to continue to serve the community I live in rather than working in the populated metro area. Addiction has a strong presence in the rural communities of Minnesota, and those striving for recovery meet some different challenges than those in the metro area.”

Kimpton will soon be able to help clients who face these challenges every day, as she recently accepted a position with the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center's Detox Program, which serves Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright counties.

“I look forward to helping educate and connect those in need to the services that are available.”

Program Highlight

“The Multicultural Foundations course was chock full of pertinent information and was taught in an experiential format that both challenged and expanded the way we perceive individual differences. The coursework was all relevant, and I believe helped each of us refine who we were as counselors and prepared us for work in the field.”

 

Laurél Kimpton is the recipient of the Ingrid Lenz Harrison Scholarship.