At IDHA we aim to...

build a community that advances holistic, democratic, and transformative mental health practices. Our goal is to create opportunities for critical dialogue, mutual support, and advanced education and training for those in the field. It is our mission to proliferate an understanding of mental health care that acknowledges and addresses the numerous contexts in which our mental health exist. We are dedicated to understanding not only the role of personal traumatic experiences but also collective ones, manifested through structural injustices and oppression which have deep historical roots in our society.

By bringing together experienced and aspiring practitioners, both within and outside of the mental health system, our courses and events taking place in New York City value lived experience as highly as professional training. We encourage professionals and non-professional community members alike to explore multiple perspectives, always prioritizing the agency of individuals and communities to choose the ways in which they understand and describe their experiences. Our primary goal is to equip participants with essential knowledge that allows them to create and strengthen communities of practice around transformative mental health care wherever they may be.

Within IDHA, we value...

democratic, non-hierarchical ways of organizing, in which no single perspective of mental health is valued over others. We aim to be “inclusive by design”, meaning we create space for all voices and continuously obtain feedback and insight from the communities we hope to support. Within IDHA we practice:

Transparency: We share all necessary information with one another regarding our work through the Institute. Decision-making processes are clear and designed to maximize democratic participation.

Equalizing Power and Resources: We share our access to different forms of power for the benefit of the project, and leverage resources to promote leadership of those with least access to institutional power.

Building Trust and Cultivating Healthy Relationships: This is a long term project we all have reasons to be deeply invested in, and we know that it’s imperative to build trust and camaraderie as members of a core collective.

Commitment to Personal Care and Transformation: Our work to promote transformative care for others can only be as successful as the care we can provide for ourselves. We are all continually learning and growing as we bring our full selves to this work.

Modeling Our Values: Our work will only embody our values to the extent that we are able to model them on a daily basis. Therefore working to combat all oppressions and inequities is a daily practice for us and not mere words on paper.