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.”
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.
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