DEAR ABBY: I am in a scary situation and hope you can help. I am 15, and my best friend, "Mary," is also 15. Mary has another very close friend, "Rachel," who goes to a different school. I've met her only a few times.
Although Rachel appeared normal and friendly when I last saw her, Mary confided in me that Rachel has a troubled life. According to Mary, Rachel has a negative attitude, has withdrawn socially, lost a lot of weight and repeatedly mentions suicide. Mary said she has tried to kill herself more than once, but I have no details.
It seems obvious to me that Rachel is depressed and a danger to herself. I discussed this with Mary and asked why Rachel is not receiving help. She said Rachel's parents are unaware of her condition. Mary said she would be uncomfortable telling Rachel's parents because it would destroy their friendship. I don't think Mary understands how important it is to get Rachel help.
Although I am not close to Rachel, I am concerned for her. I can only imagine how devastated Mary would be if she lost a friend to suicide knowing she could have helped. Without angering her, how can I convince Mary that she has to help her friend by telling someone? Or is this none of my business? -- FRIGHTENED FRIEND IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR FRIGHTENED FRIEND: Someone must tell Rachel's parents what is going on. If you can't convince Mary to ask her parents to speak to Rachel's mom and dad, your mother should call Mary's parents to express how concerned all of you are over Rachel's welfare. I urge you to act quickly -- and I commend you for caring so much about a troubled friend.