In the press

What people are saying about us...

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CityViews: Is New York’s Mental-Health System Listening to the Peers Who’ve Lived It?

by Noah Phillips

“From the first time, IDHA was welcoming,” says Thompson. “It’s just amazing to connect with such talented people, who are open. I didn’t feel any stigma. There wasn’t a focus on your diagnosis. I don’t feel this paternalistic thing. There’s an even playing ground.”

IDHA Peer Connection has expanded to over 50 members and four peer committees, and is in the early stages of an organizing campaign built around a Declaration of Peer Roles. The initiative will begin with a survey sent to working peers across the city to be used to develop a scope of practice document.”

Rethinking Crisis, Rethinking Mental Health Education

by Jazmine Russell, NYCPS

“IDHA was founded on the belief that the most expansive learning opportunities in mental health happen in collaboration between professionals and ‘experts by experience,’ or those who have been through the mental health system and can offer immense insight and first-person accounts of what needs to shift in order for mental health care to truly support those it seeks to serve. To do this, we step beyond the 4th wall, break the invisible barrier between teacher and student, create space for challenging conversations and multiple perspectives to take place, and blend professional expertise with something we consider to be crucial to learning: the connection and vulnerability of personal narrative.”

Building a Support Network for Peer Workers in NYC

by Sascha Altman DuBrul, MSW

“You should know that there are Peer Workers actively organizing in New York City. We had a six hour visioning meeting this weekend in Harlem with 30+ people and there’s a really fired up group of folks who are building a mentorship/support network. This is really significant because, frankly, the mental health system is failing Peer Workers on so many fronts, and it’s long overdue that we start organizing support for ourselves. Peer work started from a social movement on the streets and has ended up a marginalized and co-opted role in a broken system. There is an incredible amount of talent, experience and creativity in our ranks, and the public mental health system desperately needs us to speak up and get organized so we can hold it accountable and make it work better. Peer Workers have the power of story tellers and we also have the particular power that comes from being social and economic underdogs: we have some really important stories to tell the world.”


The Next Generation of the Mad Movement in NYC Looks Like This

by Sascha Altman DuBrul, MSW

"Part of the beauty of IDHA is that it rests at the confluence of multiple movements and generations and there are some super talented and passionate people involved in the mix.

Projects like IDHA represent a new wave of resistance that is less about human rights and individual choice and more about the insistence on full-fledged participation in our own healing, and more importantly, in healing by and through community. There’s also something about the collaboration between people working on the ground and people in the academy, collaboration between Peer Specialists and conscious clinicians, collaboration between artist movements and mental health activists."


Ethics Check: Realigning with the Values of the Healer’s Heart

by Katrina Michelle, PhD, LCSW

"The [Institute for the Development of Human Arts], a collaborative think tank, has come together to refocus on the values at the heart of human healing. Their first eight-week course, “Rethinking Crisis,” creates a framework for exploring and understanding the challenges in our current mainstream systems while laying the groundwork to co-create a new paradigm that can better reflect the ethical codes that guide our professions.

Being in classes with diverse professionals and experiencers with backgrounds that clearly demonstrate how many of our systems have unintentionally created harm in the interest of healing has given me the opportunity to learn and further sensitize myself to the ways I engage with the people I work with."