Mill Spring, NC (PressExposure) July 09, 2013 -- CooperRiis is the realization of a dream of co-founders Don and Lisbeth Cooper: to create a place where people heal, have purpose in life, and gain personal empowerment. It grew out of their experience with a family member whose life was impeded by mental health challenges.
CooperRiis is a non-profit and through the generosity of many, it opened with 25 staff and 4 residents on a farm in Mill Spring, NC and has since opened a second facility in the historic Montford section of Asheville, NC and built a thriving 'Community Program' for our 'graduates'. We now serve over 100 residents with mental health challenges and secondary addiction issues who are supported by a staff of over 150. With an annual budget of $10 million, we are able to provide over $2.5 million a year in scholarships and have helped over 650 individuals and families to regain fulfilled and functional lives.
According to Lisbeth and Don, "Our lives have been enriched beyond measure by our immersion into the CooperRiis Dream. We know that other philanthropists also have personal knowledge about the need to improve mental health care and we hope that in sharing our dream we might awaken theirs. Active, engaged philanthropy arises from the 'love of humankind' and we built CooperRiis based on that love and kindness."
One graduate wrote upon departing: "Thank you, CooperRiis, you saved my life." Recent stories about former residents include one recently graduating with her college degree in engineering, another working as an artist in the Asheville community, and a third who is now married and with two children, teaching as a college professor. Several of our former residents have also come back to CooperRiis as full-time employees after a period away from the program.
CooperRiis is a place where the despair that accompanies mental health challenges becomes manageable. Here one can dare to dream again, rebuild a balanced life, relationships, and purpose. Whole families are helped in this process through Family Education Weekends and an Online Recovery Education program.
Here are some of the remarks made during a recent CooperRiis Family Education Weekend:
"I laughed, cried and felt another layer of aloneness peel off and another layer of hope build in my heart as result of participating in this experience."
"[We] will always be grateful to CooperRiis and its wonderful team for restoring the light in [our daughter's] eyes and hope in her voice." "We love CooperRiis and the heart behind the philosophy of this life giving place of Healing."