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Why we started CooperRiis, a Non-profit Residential Healing Community…

Frustrated with options we had encountered trying to help a loved one deal with mental health challenges, we launched a nonprofit to offer holistic and effective mental health treatment for others.

Together, we started CooperRiis, a non-profit residential healing community, and developed the kind of therapeutic program we wish we’d had for our family member. Drawing from influences both old and new, utilizing the special skills of our professional staff, and constantly learning from our residents and their families, the dream we had to help others has taken root and flourished.

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 that cannot be put back together again. 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 place where an individual isn’t defined by their psychiatric diagnosis, but by their talents, their personality and their potential. We wanted to create a community where people could learn new ways of coping, establish more 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 the philanthropic generosity of so many, we were able to turn our frustration and hopelessness into action. It is gratifying to us that our struggle could be transformed into something so good and positive. Through the CooperRiis Healing Community we have found our true passion and life’s work.

A Place where Hope is Restored

Seventeen years later, CooperRiis is a nationally recognized nonprofit mental health treatment center and now based in two locations, a 94-acre working farm in Mill Spring, a 4-acre residential campus in Asheville; a growing transitional living program in Asheville allowing clients to gradually transition into their own homes.

In November 2019, a Supported College Program was added to the Asheville Campus; a program for residents who want to pursue post-secondary education as part of their mental health recovery. Designed for individuals whose college experience has been interrupted or inhibited by mental heath challenges, the College Program integrates educational services and supports with our powerful approach to mental health treatment and within close proximity to some of the region’s best colleges and universities.

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


CooperRiis Founders: Don Cooper and Lisbeth Riis Cooper
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