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I believe in the idiom that 'pen is mightier than the sword' and dedicate my time, often pro-bono, to distilling and disseminating the latest academic research findings on neuroscience and mental health to the general public in a way that is accessible to everyone. 

 

My training and research into neuropsychiatric disorders have taught me that we are all vulnerable to struggling with the impact of depression or anxiety in our lifetime. 

 

Moreover, we likely know someone who is be struggling with these very issues or has struggled in the past. 

Thankfully, the stigma associated with mental health issues is declining, however much remains to be done, but we can all play a part in supporting the work that remains. 

 

My hope is that anyone will be able to recognize the signs that a friend might be struggling with a mental health issue such as depression or that depression itself is a known risk factor for suicide. 

 

To that end, I write articles, edit books, design infographics, make informational videos, and build websites for organizations that contribute to providing information on neuroscience and mental health. 

Neuroscience

Print and digital media articles related to neuroscience. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Rita Hitching is an incredible writer, editor, and collaborator. I worked for 2 years with Rita on an ambitious writing project compiling information from experts. This project required someone with incredible initiative, enthusiasm, and talent. Rita over-delivered. She not only helped identify experts and recruit them to the project, she edited the project, she designed the layout and did all the publication and production. Then she did it again the next year. I am not exaggerating when I say that this project would have failed under anyone else's direction. I am so grateful for Rita's dedication to the project. She is an asset to any team.​

Emily Bilek, PhD
 Chair PEMD, ABCT.org

I've been privileged to edit Rita's contributions to the magazine I work for. She is a talented writer and professional wordsmith I can count on to deliver timely, well-researched, relevant, and engaging content.

 

I appreciate her polite professionalism and openness to editorial guidance —although her writing needs minimal changes which makes my job easy. It's been a pleasure to work with her for the past two years. ​

ABBEY BURGESS
Copy Editor, Best Version Media

I worked with Rita for approximately a year when I was a staff writer managing columnists at the Los Altos Town Crier in Los Altos, CA. She was one of a handful of our go-to contributors for the Your Health section and by far the most flexible. I could email Rita the day before I needed content when an article fell through and she would get it to me that evening. Rita is a kind, genius woman who went beyond her professional role to make sure I was doing okay and still does to this day despite our direct connection changing through my departure from the newspaper. Because of her medical expertise and her motherly experience, Rita's writing is relatable, easy to digest and interesting for the times. I always look forward to seeing what she has coming up the pike.​

MELLISA HARTMAN
Reporter Santa Cruz Sentinel

Image by Dan Meyers

Mental Health

Print and digital media articles related to mental health. 

Teen Brain

Neuroscience for Teenagers & Their Parents

Teenagers

My interest in adolescent neuronal development stems from the unique changes the brain undergoes during the period between 13 and 19 years. The trajectory of brain changes associated with the maturation of cognitive functions, decision making, memory, attention, impulse control is as individual as a teen is.

 

During this period the brain demonstrates greater connectivity across regions, paired with axonal pruning. It is a period of strong remodeling making adolescents highly vulnerable to disruptions in brain maturation due to external and internal factors, that may make them susceptible to psychiatric issues. 

The teen years are a period of great opportunity to support teens towards independent living. I focus on helping teens understand themselves and those around them, by giving them an insight into their amazing brain.