National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Peter Stastny, M.D.

Peter Stastny was born in Vienna, Austria, where he graduated from medical school in 1976. Since 1978 he has been working and residing in New York City. For nearly 30 years he was on the faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and has conducted several publicly funded research projects in the area of vocational rehabilitation, social support and self-help, in collaboration with individuals who had survived personal crises and psychiatric interventions. Currently, Dr. Stastny is working on the development of alternative services that obviate traditional psychiatric intervention and offer autonomous paths towards recovery and full integration. Recently, he has spearheaded Parachute New York, a federally-funded project to provide crisis alternatives in New York City. These activities have engendered a close collaboration with the user-survivor movement, as manifested by joint research projects, publications, service demonstrations, and community work. He is a founding member of the International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR) and a director of several documentary films.

With Darby Penny and photographer Lisa Rinzler, Dr. Stastny was a guest curator of the New York State Museum's exhibit Lost Cases, Recovered Lives: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic in 2004. He and Darby Penney have also written a book about the lives of some of the people whose suitcases were discovered in an abandoned attic at Willard State Hospital in rural New York State: The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic.