Local Man Says He Is Not A Threat At Press Conference For Mentally Ill And Violence

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Due to all the attention recently on mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary and the movie theatre in Aurora, Colo. some blame has been placed on people with mental illness.

The Topeka Independent Living Resource , a disability rights advocacy organization, held a press conference Thursday to discuss mental illness and the propensity for violence. Advocates don't believe mental illness and violence goes hand in hand.

A local man who says he has depression had a message for the public.

"I just want everyone to know that I'm not a threat to you or anyone else except maybe myself. But as long as I'm getting the treatment I need, I'm not a threat to myself," said Eric Harkness.

Advocates hope that this conference will end the negative stigma of people who are mentally ill. They also want hospitals to be more easily accessible to those in need.