On 7 December 2016, Patrick Cakirli wrote a message on an app called Jodel.
It's a European equivalent to Yik Yak, an anonymous message forum which is based on location. In short, you post anonymous messages and anyone within 10km can reply.
I am desperate to meet new friends. I’m lonely and going through the hardest period of my life.
I’ll sit on the stairs in front of the town hall from 2pm to 8pm.
I have black pants and a North Face bag on.
Patrick says he'd written the post as a person who had spent half of his young life in an orphanage and had been left with low self-esteem. He had encountered violence in recent months, and in September of that year his girlfriend cheated on him and left him.
He felt depressed and sought help at a local psychiatric hospital. In short, he felt he didn't have many friends.
13 people replied to his message immediately.
Patrick is the one in the bottom right:
Throughout the course of the evening each person told him they too had experienced loneliness, that they had been afraid of reaching out, and were inspired by his message.
The meeting received press attention locally in Denmark, and Patrick started speaking out on the issue of mental health.
He set up a free national peer-to-peer network where lonely people could meet new people.