Paul Jay Fink


When I read about the development of a new journal dealing with stigma, I got excited because it is an area I have been working in for over 30 years. I have carried around the announcement with me, determined to write a piece for submission. In the 1980s, I delivered a speech titled, The Enigma of Stigma (Fink, 1983) scores of times and ultimately Overcoming Stigma was the theme of the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in 1989 when I was President. Surprisingly, we received over 100 submissions on the topic for the meeting, so there are a lot of psychiatrists and psychologists out there who still worry about the corrosive and destructive effect of stigma on the mental health of the nation. Rosalynn Carter has been an inspiration and has never given up in her quest to end stigma against the mentally ill and their caretakers. Unfortunately, the battle continues. The nay-sayers, the jokers, and the people who feel a need to ridicule those who are suffering from serious mental illnesses are still out there in large numbers.



Fink, P. J. (1983). The enigma of stigma. Psychiatric Annals, 13(9), 669–690.

Gabbard, G. O., & Gabbard, K. (1999). Psychiatry and the Cinema (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

Merkin, D. (2010, August 4). My life in therapy. The New York Times Magazine.

Moran, M. (2010). Members of Congress Condemn Efforts to ‘Erode’ Parity Mandate. Psychiatric News, 45(1), 9.

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