By Cristina Neil
In our ongoing effort to recognize the outstanding individuals who dedicate their time and energy to making the world a better place, we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on Achyut Reddy.
Achyut is a high school junior at Detroit Country Day School. Achyut’s dedication isn’t limited to the classroom, though. He’s part of the NAMI Washtenaw County advocacy group and the volunteer overview and planning committee. He also writes for the NAMI newsletter and has volunteered to work on a social media initiative for NAMI WC.
Achyut’s interest in mental health advocacy was piqued during the COVID-19 pandemic. He felt a deep calling to get involved in mental health and found NAMI to be an all-encompassing program with an accepting community that focuses on advocacy and education. This has allowed Achyut to thrive and channel his compassion into meaningful change.
As part of the advocacy team, Achyut currently has a vital role in helping run an educational campaign on discourse regarding the Chelsea Hospital inpatient Adult Behavioral center closure. According to WXYZ Action News 7 Detroit, the changes at the hospital come at a time when Michigan is already short on psychiatric beds for adults and adolescents. Achyut is responsible for a project that will help share real stories on the closure of the program and the impact the loss is making in the community.
At 16 years old, Achyut knows he’s one of the youngest members of NAMIWC, but Achyut says, “Mental illness needs to be discussed by everyone. No matter how young you are, you can always make an impact through passion and a little bit of curiosity.” He’s already learned so much through working on newsletter content, hospital visits, and education with the advocacy group.
When asked about his hopes for the future of NAMI and mental health, Achyut says he hopes to increase interest in younger demographics, share ideas and experiences with other students and continue teaching about mental health issues to continue helping solve the mental health crisis. He would like to help expand NAMI’s social media and be a catalyst in increasing engagement and interest with others outside of the usual community as well.
In recognition of his unwavering commitment, passion, and desire to create a profound impact, we proudly honor Achyut Reddy as our featured volunteer this month. His dedication to empowering communities through compassion exemplifies the essence of volunteerism and reminds us that when we come together with a shared purpose, we have the power to create a brighter future for all.
Cristina graduated from Eastern Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in communication and social work. She is interested in supporting under-served youth, social justice, and helping those in need. She is involved in many non-profits that are linked to those subjects. At NAMI, she is a volunteer with the overview committee, provides graphic design services, and supports community events.