National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
Darby Penney is a long-time activist in the human rights movement for people with psychiatric labels. She is the co-author of the 2012 technical assistance document, Engaging Women in Trauma-Informed Peer Support: A Guidebook.
Ms. Penney is also the co-author, with Peter Stastny, of The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic (Bellevue Literary Press, 2008) and a companion website (www.suitcaseexhibit.org). The book and a traveling exhibit of the same name, which has toured the country since 2006, are based on the discovery of 400 suitcases, boxes, and trunks of personal items taken from patients when they were committed at Willard State Hospital in upstate New York.
Ms. Penney was formerly Director of Recipient Affairs at the New York State Office of Mental Health, where she brought the perspectives of people with psychiatric disabilities into the policy-making process. In 2005, she was honored for her social justice work by being named a Fellow of the Petra Foundation.