Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

At the start of 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to some of the team and asked them if they would like to share any personal stories on mental health, if they have ever suffered from it and what helped them get through it.

Resourcing Consultant, Jordan Potepa, stepped forward and was brave enough to share his story with us. By getting people talking about mental health, we can break down stereotypes, improve relationships, aid recovery and take the stigma out of something that affects us all

" I felt like my friends didn’t make much effort (through no fault of their own, they have their own lives to live) "

— Jordan Potepa, Resourcing Consultant | HdE TALENT

Jordan’s Story

“Where do we start with loneliness? Everyone experiences it, probably without even realising. Loneliness isn’t just being left out of group plans, or not being invited to a work meeting, going unnoticed on zoom calls or even being ignored on a group chat. Loneliness can come in various shapes and sizes you may not have ever thought of before.

I’ve experienced loneliness, this came after a severe knee injury that left me bed-bound for a lengthy amount of time, with a long time spent in rehabilitation/physio. I’ve always been very sociable; playing for a local football team, six-a-side once a week, regularly meeting up with friends or then colleagues, even taking the dogs out with my mum – these were all things I loved. I was isolated, I felt isolated. My mental health deteriorated pretty rapidly, I felt like my friends didn’t make much effort (through no fault of their own, they have their lives to live) and my parents became in a sense, my direct support network, and what a fantastic and highly appreciated job they did. I still live with spikes in anxiety every day, or those feelings of loneliness.

The thing is, loneliness doesn’t always have to be attached to a freak accident, an injury, an argument or a falling out. Loneliness can occur at any given time, you can have the best set of friends or the closest family in the world, but you can still suffer from it. I’m passionate about Mental Health and am an approved Mental Health First Aider through my old line of work. I read a statistic that 1/5 of us suffer from loneliness, that’s an incredibly large number of people! The hardest part of tackling this is talking and acknowledging this, yet with comfortability, this can become easier, but this is easier said than done.

There are things that can help; an activity you love, spending time with the right people, pets, or even just stimulating your brain – getting lost in a good book or Netflix series, going on a favourite walk, but as easy as this may sound, it’s often the hardest part. I’ve found that the most important part of tackling loneliness, is being comfortable with being on your own, loving yourself and learning about yourself. What makes you tick, what drags you down. When you really think about these things and use them as a marker in your day-to-day life, you can really notice small differences. I’ve always said it’s the smallest things in life that make the biggest difference.

You can give advice on how to ‘tackle’ loneliness, but in reality, sometimes these suggestions, as positive and beneficial as they may be, hold no bearing on changing the situation you can find yourself in. Anxiety can form around the idea of even attempting something that can/should be a positive step in the right direction, then you’re essentially back to square one. I cherish the fact we are now in a position where discussions around mental health are so much more respected and frequent. Talking about mental health and specifically, loneliness is something we should all be doing, supporting one another and growing as individuals.”


For help and advice on how to cope with loneliness and improve your mental health, please visit