CooperRiis Healing Community at Mill Spring Campus

CooperRiis Healing Community at Mill Spring Campus


CooperRiis Healing Community is an alternative treatment provider that offers a therapeutic community model of recovery for individuals struggling with primary psychiatric disorders. The CooperRiis Healing Community of Mill Spring, N.C. is one of two campuses operated by the treatment organization. Situated in the scenic foothills of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, CooperRiis of Mill Spring provides a long-term residential program, work-therapy, and transitional housing for its clientele.

Although CooperRiis is a program designed for individuals with a primary psychiatric disorder, individuals struggling with chemical dependency are also accepted; however, clients with a history of addiction must achieve 30 days of sobriety pending admission.


Before beginning treatment, potential clients undergo an initial evaluation via phone to ensure CooperRiis is an appropriate level of care. Unique to the facility, CooperRiis invites prospective clients to attend a two-day, overnight exploratory visit to the Mill Spring campus at no charge. If accepted, clients are immersed in CooperRiis’s therapeutic community model of treatment. During residential treatment, which typically lasts approximately five months, clients adhere to a structured schedule of clinical programming in conjunction with work-therapy.

To address issues associated with mental health difficulties, CooperRiis facilitates a structured schedule of individual and group counseling sessions. Utilizing dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) techniques, counseling sessions are designed to introduce coping skills to regulate emotions and behaviors. Clients with a history of substance abuse also have access to 12-step meetings twice weekly, as well as specialized group counseling sessions focused on chemical dependency. If necessary, CooperRiis provides ongoing medication management to alleviate symptoms of the client’s mental illness.

Along with core programming, CooperRiis emphasizes work-therapy as an integral component of treatment. While immersed in the therapeutic community, clients spend 20 hours per week completing tasks that contribute to the therapeutic community. Some of these tasks include cooking, raising crops, gardening, caring for animals, flower arranging, soap-making, drum building, carpentry, as well as volunteer work within the community of Mill Spring. In addition, CooperRiis integrates a wellness component, which includes an exercise regimen, nutritional counseling, and therapeutic massages.

Once a client completes the residential program, CooperRiis encourages alumni to transition into the treatment provider’s transitional housing program. The facility offers various levels of transitional housing. Depending on individual client needs, clients may live in a transitional house with 24-hour supervision or an unsupervised facility with access to CooperRiis’ clinical support and recovery-oriented recreational activities. The typical length of residence in transitional housing is 13 months, and clients may progress to less-restrictive housing during their stay.


CooperRiis Healing Community employs a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, registered nurses, and recovery coaches experienced in the process of recovery. A support staff and volunteers also assist with day-to-day operations. According to the facility’s website, CooperRiis provides a staff-to-client ratio better than 1:1.


Situated on a 94-acre working farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Mill Spring campus features a lake, an art barn and woodshop, miles of forest trails, four organic gardens, and a greenhouse. The campus can accommodate up to 36 individuals who live in three separate lodges, 12 to a residence. Clients enjoy the comfort of a private bedroom and bathroom, as well as spacious, well-furnished communal areas.


The sole alumni polled by at the time of this writing, N.O., felt that the facility’s accommodations and meals were adequate, though they did not approve of the facility’s programming. Out of five stars, the alum gave two-star ratings for the facility’s effectiveness in individual counseling and submitted a one-star rating for the treatment staff’s level of experience and training. “There were very few groups, they had a work program,” N.O. wrote. The alum also offered a two-star rating for the respect shown to clientele and a two-star rating for the facility’s safety.

On Facebook, however, CooperRiis fared much better with an average rating of 4.7 out of five stars based on 44 user reviews to date.[1] Representative reviewer Deborah wrote: “This is an awesome place to acquire information about mental illness and how to gain control of your life without being overly medicated!”


Although has yet to receive staff feedback to date, secondary sources revealed employee approval of the facility. On Glassdoor, there were two perfect, five-star ratings[2], and on Indeed, four ratings averaged four out of five stars.[3] Giving three stars in a representational review, an anonymous staffer told Indeed: “The environment is one of support and holistic healing for the residents. Coworkers are kind and resident support centered. Management is sometimes in disagreement to priorities and how those priorities are accomplished.”


According to the facility’s website, CooperRiis Healing Community accepts some private insurance plans through SJ Health Insurance Advocates (SJHIA), an industry leader in behavioral health insurance advocacy. The cost for the first two months of lodging is $18,500 and families may inquire about financial aid for any remaining time. The facility also notes: “The monthly fee includes everything except psychiatry, outside physician fees, medications, supplements, transportation fees, and personal spending money.”


Reviews about CooperRiis Healing Community at Mill Spring Campus

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • There were very few groups, they had a work program.