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Posted: Apr 15, 2009, 10:06

New Perspectives


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Mill Spring, NC
Virgil Stucker
Executive Director

CooperRiis is a specialized residential therapeutic “healing farm community” for young adults ages 18 and over that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder, bipolar disorder, Asperger’s, depression and/or borderline personality disorder.

Founded in 2001, CooperRiis was created by Don and Lisbeth Cooper. The Executive Director Team consists of Virgil and Lis Stucker, who previously worked at Gould Farm, one of the models CooperRiis has followed. In addition they had co-founded Rose Hill, a therapeutic community for individuals with mental illness. Sharon Leigh Young, PhD, is the Clinical Director. Prior to working at CooperRiis, she created “The Enhanced Recovery Model” used at CooperRiis based on her extensive graduate work.

Residents receive both individual and group therapy in addition to family support and education. Their “menu of services” includes psycho educational therapies, addictions counseling, access to psychopharmacology, service and life skills training, smoking cessation courses, massage therapy, acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, nutrition and exercise coaching and recreational, cultural and art experiences, to create an individual recovery plan.

An integral component is the work training program, where residents choose one of six programs in which to participate. This contributes to the whole in the community. These areas are farming and gardening, maintenance, housekeeping, the kitchen, woodshop and the art barn.

CooperRiis gives its residents a variety of visual and performing arts to learn, including pottery, photography, painting, sculpting and acting. For outdoor recreation, swimming, fishing and hiking are available on the 80 acre farm.

[This information came from the CooperRiis website.]


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