Courses and communities

Practice Recovery

Families Healing Together provides interactive, online family mental health education designed to help families and individuals transform the experience of emotional distress, psychosis and other challenges that may have psychiatric diagnoses. Our strengths-based recovery approach helps families move from distress, fear and confusion to a greater sense of wellbeing, wholeness and connection. Families Healing Together is a collaboration between Family Outreach and Response, Mother Bear CAN, and Practice Recovery.

Mother Bear Community Action Network

Mother Bear: Families for Mental Health is a family-led recovery network whose mission is to be a catalyst for healing by connecting individuals, families, and professionals to share mental health education, provide recovery-oriented resources, and create and sustain local support. 
Mother Bear embraces the values and the vision of the mental health recovery movement, pioneered by those with lived experience, that has repeatedly demonstrated that recovery from even severe emotional states is not only possible, but should be expected.
Our founding Mother Bear, Lisbeth Riis Cooper, has made this recovery journey with her own family and has supported hundreds of families through the recovery process at CooperRiis Healing Community, which she co-founded in the eastern United States with her husband Don Cooper.
Mother Bear is a family-led education and resource organization. We do not provide direct care or endorse specific health care providers or treatments.
If you feel that you and/or a family member needs professional assistance, please contact a qualified mental health care provider, peer respite center, or call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK), the national suicide prevention lifeline. For more information, please click the link below to view our full disclaimer.

Family Outreach & Response


  • People can and do recover from what is labeled as mental illness regardless of symptoms, diagnosis, duration, and treatment history.
  • Many individuals have survived periods of what gets labeledmental illness and have healed and moved on to live full rewarding lives. You can read some recovery stories on this site.
  • Families and friends of people struggling with emotional distress require support, information, and skills to help create an atmosphere of hope in which change and growth are possible.
  • Families and friends are on their own parallel journey and require support and enhanced skills at handling their own “dark emotions”
  • Services and supports need to be culturally safe and welcome diversity.
  • Discrimination within society, the mental health system, families and individuals, must be addressed for recovery to happen.
  • The most important tool families and friends have in supporting someone in recovery is their relationship.
  • Recovery is a non-linear journey involving hope, education, self advocacy, personal responsibility, and support.
  • Individuals are responsible for their own wellness. No one can recover for someone else.
  • Families and friends can model attitudes that create a culture of healing.
  • Families and friends can absolutely help facilitate their loved ones recovery. 

  • Emotional CPR (eCPR)

    Emotional CPR (eCPR) is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps:
    C = Connecting
    P = emPowering, and
    R = Revitalizing.
    The Connecting process of eCPR involves deepening listening skills, practicing presence, and creating a sense of safety for the person experiencing a crisis. The emPowering process helps people better understand how to feel empowered themselves as well as to assist others to feel more hopeful and engaged in life. In the Revitalizating process, people re-engage in relationships with their loved ones or their support system, and they resume or begin routines that support health and wellness which reinforces the person’s sense of mastery and accomplishment, further energizing the healing process.
    eCPR is based on the principles found to be shared by a number of support approaches: trauma-informed care, counseling after disasters, peer support to avoid continuing emotional despair, emotional intelligence, suicide prevention, and cultural attunement. It was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first- hand experience.
    For more information, to schedule an introductory workshop/training in eCPR, or If you would like to be an eCPR Ambassador and help spread the word about this exciting program, email or call 877-246-9058. Please visit the NCMHR website: for eCPR updates and education materials.

    Open Paradigm Project

    Testimonials of HopeFrom People who RejectedPsychiatric Diagnoses

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