More and more, anxiety is becoming prevalent in our communities, especially in children. Whether they are anxious due to physical illness, school pressure or social interactions, many children suffer from anxiety. In fact, more than 4,000 children suffer from anxiety on the Space Coast alone. Luckily, the Space Coast is home to multiple health care professionals who are working to combat this widespread health problem. Among them is Dr. Cristi Salinas, who works vigilantly to help ease the epidemic of anxiety in our community.

The daughter of a pharmacist and a nurse, Dr. Salinas gained a passion for the medical world at a young age. She is now the only pediatric neuropsychologist in Central Florida. In high school, she became interested in the non-profit sector, but it wasn’t until her fellowship at the Florida Hospital for Children that she truly found her calling. In working with several underprivileged children suffering from anxiety and other mental illnesses, Dr. Salinas realized that there was a real need for a community of doctors in Central Florida that would treat children who had health insurance that wasn’t covered by most mental health providers, or children who had no health insurance at all. Thus, Niños Health was born.

Niños Health is focused on getting care to underprivileged and undertreated children. Dr. Salinas hopes to bring a community of doctors to the Space Coast to treat these children and help them to be the best and healthiest version of themselves.

Along with Niños, Dr. Salinas has her own private practice in Melbourne. Here she helps to diagnose and treat children with anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your child has an anxiety disorder, or just the normal nerves that come with adolescence. Dr. Salinas shared that, in young children, the markers for anxiety disorders include anything from separation anxiety to angry outbursts. In older children, anxiety disorders are marked by avoidance of beloved activities and friends. If you suspect that your child may have an anxiety disorder, it is only beneficial to seek professional, medical help. Doctors such as Dr. Salinas and many other pediatric health professionals can help you and your family.

Talk to your children and always make sure they’re doing their best. And remember, if they need the help of a doctor, there are many who would love to lend a hand.