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.
More than half say they're not taking new patients, in a new survey. They report their existing patients need more attention for complex problems, and many keep months-long waitlists.
HealthySteps is an intervention where new parents get practical help with their lives, allowing them to create stable, nurturing bonds with their babies. It all starts at the baby's checkups.
The 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India, killed thousands. New research finds babies born to mothers who were pregnant at the time have suffered long-term impacts worse than those directly exposed.
She came to the U.S. for grad school. She was lonely. Then came an invitation for Thanksgiving — no turkey (strictly vegan) but a spirit that touched her soul. And her mango lassi was a hit!
Even before the current war, researchers documented the impact of conflict on children in Gaza. Now they worry that kids who are trapped on the battlefield face long-term impacts on mental health.
The Israel-Gaza conflict is likely to leave people in the region struggling with trauma-related mental health symptoms for a long time to come.
More than a million women in Bogotá, Colombia, do unpaid family caregiver work full-time. The country has launched a groundbreaking program called "Care Blocks" to ease their burden.
NPR correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee visited a hit London museum show called "The Offbeat Sari." It showed her how the garment has changed — and made her reflect on what the sari means to her.
Researchers are exploring the impact of interactions with strangers and casual acquaintances. Their findings shed light on how seemingly fleeting conversations affect your happiness and well-being.
There have been nearly a dozen mass shootings this month and a total 346 mass shootings so far this year — each one leaving a heavy toll for communities around them.