UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom has reflected on how a near-fatal accident when he was a teenager impacted his mental health in a moving video issued on World Mental Health Day.
In the video – released as part of UNICEF’s #OnMyMind campaign – Bloom talks candidly to camera about breaking his back at age 19, after falling three floors from a building.
“It was the beginning of what was a long and painful journey for me into recognizing and understanding some of the patterns that had been in my life that had led me to having numerous accidents,” Bloom recalls in the video. “The months after the fall were a dark time. As someone who had been very active, it felt very restrictive all of a sudden, and I was in a lot of pain.”
UNICEF’s #OnMyMind campaign aims to normalize conversations about mental health and promote action in support of all children and young people.
“Mental health is particularly challenging because it’s unseen,” Bloom continues. “It is so important to reach out to people, to talk to people, to find someone to create the possibility for communication that leads to transformation and change.”
According to the latest available estimates, more than 1 in 7 adolescents aged 10–19 is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder globally. The majority of the 800,000 people who die by suicide every year are young people, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for young people aged 15–19.
“For too many children and young people around the world, stigma, misunderstanding, and lack of acceptance about mental health struggles mean they don’t reach out for the support they need,” said UNICEF Director of Global Communications and Advocacy Paloma Escudero. “By breaking the silence surrounding mental health challenges and encouraging children and young people to open up about their experiences, we can collectively normalize talking about, and seeking support for, mental health, and end the harmful impact of stigma and discrimination.”
This World Mental Health Day, UNICEF is encouraging young people, their parents, friends, and communities to learn about mental health, break the stigma, and start conversations that build connection and lead to more children and young people getting the support they need.