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Why we started CooperRiis, a Nonprofit Residential Healing Community

An interview with Lisbeth Riis Cooper on how CooperRiis started.

“I’m going to start a place where people can heal.”

Frustrated with the options we had encountered trying to help a loved one deal with mental health challenges, we launched CooperRiis Healing Community in 2003 to offer holistic and effective residential mental health treatment.
Drawing from old and new influences, we developed a therapeutic program we wish we’d had for our family member. Utilizing our professional staff’s unique skills and continually learning from our residents and their families, the dream we had to help others took root and flourished and became CooperRiis Healing Community, a nonprofit recovery community.
Don and Lisbeth Cooper, Founders
CooperRiis Founders: Don Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper

When a loved one suffers, the entire family suffers…

When a loved one suffers, the entire family suffers – the challenges can make you feel like you’re left holding broken pieces. The mental health system we encountered was so challenging for our family that we decided there had to be a better way. We envisioned a healing community; a place where individuals aren’t defined by their psychiatric diagnosis but by their talents, personality, and potential. We wanted to create a community where people could learn new coping methods, establish independence, and attain fulfillment through a comprehensive residential treatment program of holistic wellness, clinical care, and structured work opportunities. 

Overcoming Hopelessness through Philanthropy

Thanks to philanthropic generosity, we could turn our frustration and hopelessness into action. Through the CooperRiis Healing Community, we have found our genuine passion and life’s work.

A Place where Hope is Restored

Twenty years later, CooperRiis is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment center offering an integrated system of care to meet people where they are on their recovery journey.

Founder’s Legacy Statement

Our founders, Don Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper created CooperRiis in 2003 in response to the challenges they faced in getting their loved one the proper mental health treatment they needed. They based their vision on the concept of the Therapeutic Community Model, believing that mental health recovery was more than just healing the mind. This legacy statement will guide future board members to not only make good and well-informed decisions if changes are necessary, but they hope it will guide them; in that, any divergence from their original vision should be done so cautiously. Some of the Cooper’s guiding principles are: offering the best mental health services with the best and most qualified staff possible, offering a \”first class\” facility where residents can feel welcomed and respected, having a focus on mental health as the primary diagnosis, and if there is a substance use disorder it must be secondary, always being a non-profit organization, and separation of management and board with the board providing strategic support and guidance to the president.

Please take a moment to review this document to learn more about the vision the Coopers have for CooperRiis’ Healing Communities.

We are proud that CooperRiis continues to be a place where people are free to be themselves, a place to learn and grow, and a place to recover. And, most of all – a place where hope is restored for residents and their families.

With our gratitude,
Don Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper

An Integrated System of Care

CooperRiis offers a safe and structured environment to support an individual’s mental health recovery and healing through a combination of clinical care, purposeful work, service to the community, and holistic health and wellness practices.