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. Currently, Peter is working on the development of alternative services that supplement or replace traditional psychiatric intervention and offer autonomous paths toward 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.
Peter has also worked as an expert witness on numerous legal actions against psychiatric hospitals and practitioners for issues relating to involuntary commitment and alleged harm sustained by the defendants. He is a founding member of the International Network Toward Alternatives and Rights-based Supports (INTAR), the Institute for the Development of the Human Arts (IDHA) and Reimagining Psychiatry Network. Peter has also directed a number of documentary films related to mental health and the Shoah. In the clinical realm, Peter worked as a psychiatrist for state-operated inpatient and outpatient services, as well as for the NYU and Pratt Institute student counseling centers. He is in private practice in Chelsea, New York.