JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The United States has seen a record number of mass shootings in 2022. So far, not a single week has gone by without at least four mass shootings. An expert explained how constant violence can affect people’s mental health.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. has had more than 300 mass shootings this year. That’s the most in a single year in U.S. history.

Mass shootings, which are defined by the Congressional Research Service as a shooting involving four or more victims, have claimed the lives of more than 220 Americans and injured at least 570 since January 1.

With mass shootings making headlines across the U.S., people can develop a sense of depression and anxiety.

“People may be a little bit more hypervigilant. They’re looking for threats in their community or around them,” said Leona Bishop, with Counted All Joy Counseling Services.

Bishop, a licensed professional counselor, said hearing about tragic events outside of a person’s control can trigger an emotional or trauma response.

“We’re usually activated or triggered in a sense that those past events that we’ve experienced personally tend to come back,” said Bishop.

With school shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas, it’s important that parents talk to their kids.

“Remind them that they’re safe, that all of the adults in their lives are doing things to prevent violence from happening,” said Bishop.

Mental health experts said the best way to cope with such stressors it to practice self-care.

“It’s about learning to take care of yourself. As you’re learning to take care of yourself, you’re learning to become more self-aware,” said Bishop.

If you’re becoming more anxious and irritable, Bishop said to slow down and practice a form of meditation.

“Sometimes, as simple as breathing. You know, take a breath. There’s so much power in being able to breath and relax,” said Bishop.

If you’re experiencing depression and anxiety, you’re urged to reach out to a medical professional for help.