Judith Fingard

Dalhousie University

J. Fingard’s degrees are from Dalhousie University and the University of London where she completed doctoral studies in 1970. She spent her teaching career in the Department of History at Dalhousie, retiring in 1997 to pursue research full-time. Her research interests in Canadian social history have addressed issues of religion, class, gender, race, and disability. Since the late 1990s she has served terms as president of the Canadian Historical Association and the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Association. For her contributions to Canadian history she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1991. Her books include: The Anglican Design in Loyalist Nova Scotia (1972), Jack in Port: Sailortowns of Eastern Canada (1982), The Dark Side of Life in Victorian Halifax (1989), Mothers of the Municipality: Women, Work, and Social Policy in Post-1945 Halifax (2005), with Janet Guildford.

  • Protect, Befriend, Respect

    Nova Scotia’s Mental Health Movement, 1908–2008

    By Judith Fingard and John Rutherford     September 2008

    For one hundred years, the Canadian Mental Health Association and its antecedent organizations have constituted a major force in the campaign to improve the prospects of people living with mental illness. This book traces the evolution of the movement in Nova Scotia in three stages, from one that sought to protect mentally compromised people, to one that befriended those struggling with mental disabilities and spoke out against discrimination, and finally, to one that advocates for the rights of consumers and respects their need to speak on their own behalf. This journey through the social policy regarding mental health focuses on the individuals who fought stigma, institutionalization and marginalization: activists, bureaucrats, health professionals and consumers. Often with strong views and frequently with compassion, they attacked the problems of indifference with dedication and energy. The result is a history not only of a particular organization, but also of a society’s approach toward some of its most vulnerable constituents.