Our Founding Family: Don & Lisbeth Cooper
Lisbeth & Don Cooper's decision to develop CooperRiis emerged out of their long journey helping a member of their own family to pursue a path to recovery through the fragmented and often frustrating mental health system.
Experiencing the therapeutic farm community of Spring Lake Ranch in Vermont unleashed their own creativity and a commitment to help other families. They formed a not-for-profit charitable corporation in 2000, began construction in 2001, and today have brought the best of mental health recovery and rehabilitative care to their home state of North Carolina. Since opening, residents have come from four countries and 38 states to recover. The Cooper's passion to seek better solutions for families facing similar challenges is ongoing and their dream is to see at least one CooperRiis in every state of the nation.
They long to replace the 'insanity' of (mis) managed mental health care across the country by assembling compassionate, caring and kind professional staff who believe that recovery is possible and who are capable of creating and operating comprehensive and holistic programming based on the "healing farm community" approach.
Lisbeth writes, "How can we expect people's lives to change for the better if we keep treating and mistreating mental illness with insufficient, narrow and under-funded methods that breed hopelessness. I have seen hope, and it is real. I have seen recovery and want it to be available to all who seek a fulfilled and functional life."
The name CooperRiis, originates from their family names, Cooper is Don's family name and he is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Riis is Lisbeth's family name. She was born in Denmark and came to the United States when she was 22.