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.

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Research Indicates Postpartum Depression Can Last For 3 Years

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The uncertainty is getting to us: A majority of Americans report that the election is stressing them out. VIEW press/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Election Stress Getting To You? 4 Ways To Keep Calm

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Mental health advocates say 988, a simple three-digit number, will be easier for people to remember in the midst of a mental health emergency. T2 Images/Getty Images/Cultura RF hide caption

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New Law Creates 988 Hotline For Mental Health Emergencies

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President Trump's team of medical specialists overseeing his care at Walter Reed National Military Medical center. He will still have access to round-the-clock care from the White House medical staff. Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Latest On Trump COVID-19 Diagnosis: Oxygen Levels Dropped, Steroid Treatment

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Juggling Financial Stress And Caregiving, Parents Are 'Very Not OK' In The Pandemic

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How The Pandemic Is Widening The Racial Wealth Gap

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Poll: Pandemic Worsens Minorities' Income And Savings

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A walk through the streets of New York during the pandemic echoes the loneliness and isolation many Americans are feeling in their battle against a virus that has brought multiple traumas — with no end in sight. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Pandemic's Emotional Hammer Hits Hard

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Why Sitting For Long Periods Can Affect Teens' Mental Health

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Life Kit: Living With Postpartum Depression

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Death rates in the U.S. declined and life expectancy showed a slight uptick in 2018, while drug overdose deaths declined for the first time since the 1990s. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

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Life Expectancy Rose Slightly In 2018, As Drug Overdose Deaths Fell

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What Is Postpartum Depression? Recognizing The Signs And Getting Help

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