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There is Hope for College aged students at CooperRiisWith spring 2017’s Family Education Weekend wrapped up, the staff at CooperRiis have paused to reflect, digest, and thank those who made the weekend possible. A communal effort made this special weekend possible for residents and families, because of this our gratitude overflows.

Most of all, collaboration was evident throughout. Residential in addition to housekeeping staff prepared weeks beforehand. They were busy with a deep cleaning of the lodges, the main house, and the art barn. Floors were polished, banisters were painted, and furniture was rearranged. The landscaping crew freshened the garden beds after a long winter’s nap. The kitchen crew was more than prepared, pulling all they could from our gardens for that ‘farm to table’ experience. Due to this the seasonal vegetables and salad offerings were scrumptious. They knocked it out of the park with three outstanding meals a day plus snacks and desserts! Day, night, and weekend staff combined their efforts and teamed up to work throughout the program. Another shout out goes to the facilities team who stepped up to ensure the campus was in tip-top shape.

It Takes a Village-Or an Entire Team!

Recovery Coordinators, Community Work Service teams, Kitchen Staff, Foothills Community Program Staff, Residential Staff, work crews and residents collaborated in sponsoring CooperRiis’ semi-annual “Recovery Fair” and art show. Residents and staff showcased their work with other community members, and shared their CooperRiis story. It was a monumental team effort by the staff and residents.

There’s more! CooperRiis’ clinical team also contributed to the program; presentations were offered by our wellness staff, our therapists, and our chief of psychiatry, Jennifer Pasternack MD, PhD. Our executive director Michael Groat PhD, and his wife, Georgia, and their daughter, Gigi, also spoke of their experiences living on the Farm, and what makes CooperRiis so special to them.

Most noteworthy, CooperRiis’ founders Don and Lisbeth Cooper shared their story for founding CooperRiis, and invited families to have a one on one experience with them, no staff or residents present. Lisa Murphy, Family Education Weekend Coordinator shared that family members often comment how “special” this time of open dialogue is with the Coopers.

Family Education-What it is All About

Finally, the rest of the family program occurred at an offsite location, led by clinicians. Two days of psychoeducation for residents and their families was provided. There was plenty of time for discussion.

In conclusion, CooperRiis is a strong proponent for supporting, empowering, and providing residents and their families the necessary tools for continued success and lifelong recovery. “This is not your average treatment center,” one family member remarked at the end of the weekend, “it truly is a unique healing community.” We couldn’t agree more!




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