This last year has been an overwhelming whirlwind. Some of us might have had, or still do, very strong feelings that are difficult to put into words and handle even in the best of times. There are different coping mechanisms that people might use in to try and control these feelings or express them.

Govanhill Baths Community Trust, in collaboration with Govanhill Health Centre Practice A, has commissioned artist Sarah Leal Studio to create distraction boxes for people who self-harm. A distraction box is something that allows you to distract yourself from how you are feeling.

We would like to include in each of these boxes a note from a stranger. A note to show that we are not alone, and that we care for each other in our community. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of kindness to change someone’s perspective.

You can write a paragraph or a letter (one page only please) and post it to:  Govanhill Baths Community Trust, 126 Calder Street, Glasgow G42 7RA. Please mark the envelope “A letter from a stranger” for the attention of Joanna Young.  You can also drop it off through our letterbox,  or send an email to with the subject “A letter from a stranger”.

Self-harm can be a very lonely and isolating experience, which is why we want to pass on these letters of support. If you or someone you know is currently using self-harm you can find support and advice with the following websites and helplines:

NHS Mental Health Information: Self-Harm
Mind Charity: Information on Self-Harm


Young Minds: provides information on coping with self-harm and suicidal feelings. Crisis Text service is also available 24/7 . Text YM to 85258 and a Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 4:00pm.

Self-Injury UK: Telephone  Helpline – 0808 800 8088. For women of any age or background affected by self-injury, whether their own or that of a friend or family member. Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7:00pm – 9.30pm.

Samaritans: Telephone Helpline 116 123. A free and confidential support to anyone, any age. Call any time day or night.

Breathing Space: Telephone Helpline 0800 83 85 87. A free confidential phone and web-based service for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. Monday to Thursday 6:00pm – 2:00pm, and weekends Friday 6:00pm to Monday 6:00am.

Keeping Safe

Remember, if you are concerned about an individual’s mental health and wellbeing and feel they may be in distress, their doctor should be the first point of contact. If you feel the individual is in immediate danger, please call 999.