Mental Health Professionals Offer Advice on Coping with Gun Violence Anxiety | New

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An increased number of mass shootings increases anxiety and for some the answer can be found in turning to mental health professionals for help.

“Last month we had a mass shooting almost every week,” said Scott Branam, administrative director of Deaconess Cross Pointe. “And that just collectively weighs on the population as a whole.”

Where could this happen next?

Grocery store?

Church?

School?

Graduation?

The shopping center?

As of June 6, 2022, there have been 246 mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive.

That’s more shootings than days in the year so far.

Fear continues to set in when and where deadly bullets might fly next.

After the 2019 mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH, the American Psychological Association found that 79% of adults feel stress due to the possibility of a mass shooting and 33% say fear. prevents them from going to certain places they normally would.

“If this anxiety is overwhelming, identify small trips, smaller gatherings, let that level of comfort be restored, before moving on to something big like the Fall Festival or a Fourth of July celebration.”

Deaconess Cross Pointe’s therapy services can help people deal with stress and fear.

“Loose certain areas of the body to gain that calmness,” Branam said. “Monitoring your breathing can go a long way to lowering that blood pressure and lowering your anxiety levels.”

Although it is difficult with crippling anxiety, the hope is not to be too afraid to live your life.

“There are risks to living our lives,” Branam said. “But, we can’t allow ourselves or our children to be so paralyzed by what might happen that we don’t appreciate each other and the opportunities we have.”

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