Meet The Panelists: Black Children | Mental Health

Black Children | Mental Health
Meet the Panelists:

Catherine Fields

Cathy is the mother of an adult son who diagnosed with Bi-polar I Disorder when he was three years old.  Through raising this “exceptional child” she can speak directly to the

importance of being an advocate for family members with mental illness from childhood to adulthood.  She can also personally attest to the critical need of support for the caregivers of family members with mood disorders.

Cathy is the past Vice Chair and current board member of the Depression and Bipolar Strategic Alliance (DBSA) whose vision is rooted in wellness for people living with mood disorders and whose mission is to provide, hope, help support and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders

Cathy has a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science and obtained her J.D. with a specialty in Healthcare Law from Loyola University Law School.

Sharlene Hobson

Sharlene P.B. Hobson is Principal of PB Hobson at Law, LLC, a legal solutions firm founded in 2010.  Her practice focuses on political law and commercial litigation/dispute resolution.  Ms. Hobson brings her unique mix of experience to bear to help clients achieve strategic legal, business and organizational outcomes.  She also serves as an Arbitrator for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Mandatory Arbitration Program. 

Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. Hobson practiced at Sidley Austin LLP, a premier international law firm where she was a litigator who represented an array of clients, including Fortune 500 and 100 companies, corporate officers and directors, banks and accounting firms in both federal and state courts in connection with federal securities class actions, shareholder derivative suits, arbitrations and professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty actions.

Ms. Hobson received her law degree from New York University School of Law where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.  Prior to law school, she received a M.A. from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and spent four years in the field of social service and non-profit management.  

Ms. Hobson has a long-standing commitment to civic issues and public interest law. She has been a senior member of a capital litigation team representing a man on Alabama’s death row for the past thirteen years.  She also volunteers with various organizations, including Ronald McDonald House and The National Eating Disorders Association. Ms. Hobson is a wife and mother of two teenagers, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and a Trustee at West Point Baptist Church.

John Sykes

John Sykes, a Relational Therapist, works to build on the strengths of individuals, families and communities.  John uses skills and talents gained while working in direct service and executive leaderships roles in the nonprofit arena, since 1986.  Community mental health centers, residential treatment facilities, academia, in-patient hospital settings are some of the environments John gained his wealth of training.

​John works to create safety in the therapeutic environment.  John believes that working in collaboration with the client and their family system is essential to position treatment results.  His extensive training in Trauma Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral approaches and methods are areas of expertise

John is a play therapist and works with children and adolescent impacted by abuse and neglect.  John is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.  John has also lectured at Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois--Chicago.  John also provides staff development and consultation, to individual and agencies around Trauma Informed System of Care.

 John earned a bachelor’s degree in Youth Services Administration from Northeastern Illinois University and a master's degree in clinical social worker from Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.  John is a Clinical Social Worker, licensed in Illinois.  John has received and conducted extensive training on the treatment of psychological trauma.

John is a member of the National Association of Social Worker and the Chicago Association of Black Social Workers. He has board and volunteer involvement in a number of organizations that support and empowerment of underserved communities.​

Anthony Ward Jr.

Anthony Ward, Jr. is a father of three beautiful little girls ages 5, 3, and 4 months and married to his college sweetheart. He has worked in the mental health field since 2006 after graduating from Northwestern University where he majored in psychology. Anthony has worked in various settings from a therapeutic dayschool, psychiatric hospital, group home, to a residential treatment facility in various capacities. He is currently employed as a Clinical Therapist at Rice Child and Family Center of Children's Home and Aid where he provides therapeutic services to a unit of 9 complexly traumatized children.

Anthony is a part of the training team for incoming staff members. He is an engaging presenter with great energy and humor who also maintains a private practice caseload with Unbroken Family Counseling.