Orange County therapist sees higher number of children with mental health issues

Dale Eshleman urges parents to speak with their children

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Dale Dede Eshleman, a local licensed marriage and family therapist in Orange County, told News 6 that she’s seeing more patients than ever before, noting the number of children dealing with anxiety.

Eshleman works at Everyone’s Counseling Center, located not far from Orlando’s downtown.

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She said it’s important for parents to take steps now, such as talking to their children to let them know they have someone to go to.

“They might not necessarily need help with mental health, but we don’t wait until you’re in the E.R. to help your children with mental health,” Eshleman said.

According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, emergency department visits increased between 2016 and 2021 among children ages 5-19 for mental illness, anxiety and depression.

Eshleman said that when it comes to combating mental health issues, it’s important for parents to spend one-on-one time with their children.

“Let that child or teenager know that you’re a safe person to talk to because we all need safe people to talk to,” Eshleman said.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.