Death of doctor creates challenges for mental health community

Dr. Achutha Reddy was stabbed to death in east Wichita on the night of Septemer 13. (Photo courtesy Holistic Psychiatric Services)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The death of Dr. Achutha Reddy leaves a hole in the mental health community in Wichita.

Reddy was a holistic psychiatrist who treated his patients by tuning in their bodies and minds. His stabbing death has patients and the mental health community grieving.

“These situations are very difficult and very painful for the community but I think what I want people to understand is, people with serious mental illness are more likely to be victims of violent crime than they are to be perpetrators of violent crime. and what you’re seeing here, is a very tragic and unfortunate anomaly,” Rick Cagan with National Alliance on Mental Illness said.

Statistics from NAMI show that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health situation in their life while 1 in 17 struggle with a mental illness, some that can be downright debilitating.

Many of Dr. Reddy’s patients are calling into different mental health hotlines as they are without medication and treatment right now.

“Calls have been up everywhere, but here? Absolutely…just worried, and they’re grieving,” Shawna Allen with the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas said.

The MHA has brought in therapists to their main office to just visit with patients in crisis on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Reddy’s patients are encouraged to wait until Monday to call the clinic while staff recuperates from the tragedy. Currently, many mental health organizations are banding together to fill the void left by Dr. Reddy.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, you are encouraged to call the MHA at 316-685-1821 or you can even text “NAMI” to 741741 and a specialist will help you through your struggle. Resources are available at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.