In Memory of Darby Penney

(By Amanda Saake, Director of the OMH Office of Consumer Affairs)

Please join NYS Office of Mental Health and the Office of Consumer Affairs in sadly acknowledging the passing of Darby Penney, a longtime activist in the human rights movement for people with psychiatric histories. 

(Photo Credit: Mad in America)

Darby led studies and projects at the national, state, and local levels, encompassing subjects such as peer support, trauma-informed practices, and homelessness.

For a decade, Darby served as the first Director of Recipient Affairs at the New York State Office of Mental Health, where she brought the perspectives of people with psychiatric histories into all aspects of policymaking, program development, and evaluation.  She was a fierce advocate for mental health equity, teaching, supporting, researching, effecting both the mental health systems and the lives of people directly affected by these systems. She will be greatly missed by friends and family, as well as, the world of those who have worked shoulder to shoulder with her to create equity, transparency, and alignment with the values of authentic peer support.

Here is a link to Darby’s obituary

The National Association of Rights, Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) will be holding a Memorial for Darby at 2:00 pm Eastern on November 19, 2021. More Information.

(Addition on December 22, 2021: A Tribute to Darby in the New York Times.)

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