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A Paxton native has a new position with an area behavioral health treatment organization.

Kristen Hammel, LCPC, NCC, is the director of Mental Health Services with

Rosecrance Central Illinois. She was named to that position July 6.

According to information provided by the organization, “Rosecrance

Health Network is a behavioral health treatment organization that has

more than a century of experience providing help, hope, and lasting

recovery to children, youth, and adults.”

Rosecrance Central Illinois offers several services for adults, including

outpatient and residential treatment services for substance use disorder,

licensed recovery home living, detox as part of residential services,

substance abuse and co=occurring disorders intensive outpatient


The organization also offers services for teens, including substance

abuse treatment services. Rosecrance has a prevention team which is

active in schools to promote a drug-free lifestyle.

There are also continuing recovery care groups offered like Alcoholics

Anonymous and confidential free substance abuse assessments.

Hammel brings her vast experience to Rosecrance.

“I am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Illinois

and have over ten years of experience in the mental health field,” she

said via email. “I have worked in a variety of settings including

outpatient counseling services, crisis screenings, residential treatment,

and administration. I am a member of the American Counseling Association,

Illinois Counseling Association, and am a recognized National Certified

Counselor by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

“My professional, friendly and outgoing nature allows me to interact well

with staff members at all levels, regulatory agencies, and community

resources. I pride myself on my skills as a leader and my ability to

motivate employees to reach their full potential. I possess the

experience and required skill set to integrate, coordinate and direct the

day to day treatment actions as specified in Rosecrance treatment. I have

significant experience in monitoring continuity of program services in an

ethical, legal and moral manner while providing a safe and therapeutic

environment, and compliance with applicable regulatory and accreditation


Hammel said she has goals in mind as she works in her new role with the


“I am passionate about inspiring the feeling of hope to all members of

society, as I believe hope is the beginning, middle, and duration of

living an authentic, connected, and healthy life. I pride myself in

having compassion, integrity, and commitment to the mental health

community and am honored to work for an organization that embodies these


“I have always had a strong passion to provide support, hope, connection,

and recovery to people. I believe that my values, vision, and philosophy

directly align with the Rosecrance Mission, Vision and Core Values,” she


Hammel said she has fond memories of growing up in Paxton.

“I still have many friends and family that live in the Paxton area,” she

said. “When I visit them, I continue to feel a strong connection with the

community. I was able to make genuine and authentic relationships while

growing up in Paxton, that continue to impact my life in a positive way.

While volunteering at the local nursing home (Knights Templar Home), I

discovered my passion was helping people. I learned that the way I could

help others was through developing safe and trusting relationships with


Hammel said she has other fond memories of Paxton.

“I loved riding my bike to swim team practice in the mornings and after

practice hanging out with my friends at the local burger joint ‘Just

Hamburgers’,” she said.

“My senior year of high school I worked at the ‘Flower Cart’. I saw the

owner, Becky Albers, support and care for others in times of both

celebration and sorrow. I learned that a business can have a powerful

impact on the community through personal connection and the services

provided to each individual.

“I graduated from PBL in 2001, and am looking for attending my twenty

year high school reunion,” Hammel said.

Rosecrance has more than 60 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa,

with headquarters in Rockford. This includes Rosecrance Central Illinois,

which has three facilities in Champaign and one in Danville.

There are services specific to Ford County. This includes the Rosecrance

prevention team, which educations youths on life skills and the benefits

of living a drug-free lifestyle. Many outpatient services are available

in a virtual setting if a person is more comfortable doing that instead

of going to a treatment center in Champaign or Danville. Virtual

outpatient services are also available to residents in Iroquois County.

Rosecrance has had to adapt treatment and therapy groups to virtual

platforms, according to the information provided, because of the COVID-19


According to information from the organization, those who would like to

receive treatment at Rosecrance may be referred there or may call the

Access team at 888-928-5278 for a confidential assessment. The assessment

helps staff understand the person’s situation so the best individualized

plan for recovery can be determined.