Rhitu Chatterjee Rhitu Chatterjee is a health correspondent with NPR, with a focus on mental health.
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Rhitu Chatterjee

Rhitu Chatterjee

Health Correspondent

Rhitu Chatterjee is a health correspondent with NPR, with a focus on mental health. In addition to writing about the latest developments in psychology and psychiatry, she reports on the prevalence of different mental illnesses and new developments in treatments.

Chatterjee explores the underlying causes of mental health disorders – the complex web of biological, socio-economic, and cultural factors that influence how mental health problems manifest themselves in different groups – and how our society deals with the mentally ill. She has a particular interest in mental health problems faced by the most vulnerable, especially pregnant women and children, as well as racial minorities and undocumented immigrants.

Chatterjee has reported on how chronic stress from racism has a devastating impact on pregnancy outcomes in black women. She has reported on the factors that put adolescents and youth on a path to school shootings, and what some schools are doing keep them off that path. She has covered the rising rates of methamphetamine and opioid use by pregnant women, and how some cities are helping these women stay off the drugs, have healthy pregnancies, and raise their babies on their own. She has also written about the widespread levels of loneliness and lack of social connection in America and its consequences of people's physical health.

Before starting at NPR's health desk in 2018, Chatterjee was an editor for NPR's The Salt, where she edited stories about food, culture, nutrition, and agriculture. In that role, she also produced a short online food video series called "Hot Pot: A Dish, A Memory," which featured dishes from a particular country as made by a person who grew up with the dish. The series was produced in collaboration with NPR's Goats & Soda blog.

Prior to that, Chatterjee reported on current affairs from New Delhi for PRI's The World, and covered science and health news for Science Magazine. Before that, she was based in Boston as a science correspondent with PRI's The World.

Throughout her career, Chatterjee has reported on everything from basic scientific discoveries to issues at the intersection of science, society, and culture. She has covered the legacy of the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, the world's largest industrial disaster. She has reported on a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka and India. While in New Delhi, she also covered women's issues. Her reporting went beyond the breaking news headlines about sexual violence to document the underlying social pressures faced by Indian girls and women.

She has won two reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and was awarded a certificate of merit by the Gabriel Awards in 2014.

Chatterjee has mentored student fellows by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, as well as young journalists for the Society of Environmental Journalists' mentorship program. She has also taught science writing at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop.

She did her undergraduate work in Darjeeling, India. She has two master's degrees—a Master of Science in biotechnology from Visva-Bharati in India, and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Missouri.

Story Archive

Wednesday

A sign calling attention to drug overdoses is posted in a gas station on the White Earth reservation in Ogema, Minn.. A new study shows that early deaths due to addiction and suicide have impacted American Indian and Alaska Native communities far more than white communities. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP

Native Americans left out of 'deaths of despair' research

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Friday

Deaths of despair also affect Native American Communities, study shows

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Wednesday

Islenia Milien for NPR

To reignite the joy of childhood, learn to live on 'toddler time'

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Monday

Encore: Examining how effective the national mental health helpline has been

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A bookmark with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is displayed by Lance Neiberger, a volunteer with the Natrona County Suicide Prevention Task Force, in Casper, Wyoming. PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

988 Lifeline sees boost in use and funding in first months

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Friday

Examining how effective the national mental health helpline has been

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Wednesday

Encore: More than 3,000 young kids accidentally ate pot edibles in 2021, study says

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Tuesday

Cannabis candies, made to look appealing, are being ingested by children under 6, sending some kids to the hospital. Most of the children found the edible weed at their own homes. Eva Marie Uzcategu/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Eva Marie Uzcategu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

3,000+ young children accidentally ate weed edibles in 2021, study finds

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Study: More than 3,000 young children accidentally ate pot edibles in 2021

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Thursday

Americans are under a lot of stress, but there are ways to manage it

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Wednesday

Health experts say all adults 65 and under should be screened for anxiety disorders

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Monday

What is anxiety?

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Thursday

Grief and trauma training is unexpectedly healing for school district staff in Texas

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Thursday

Why one Texas school district is offering grief training to mental health providers

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Thursday

A new poll reveals Americans are stressed out by inflation, violence and politics

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