DEAR HARRIETTE: I read a disturbing message on a woman's Facebook page the other day. Right after the fashion designer L'Wren Scott took her life, this woman wrote that she really identified with Scott and understood how she could make such a choice. I noticed that a few people immediately wrote her to offer their love and support. I am not close to her, so I was unsure as to how I should respond. I know that life can be tough for people, even when it seems like things are going OK. We really have no idea what troubles people may be having in their lives. I would hate to sit back and do nothing, though. If she were to take her life or even try, I would feel horrible that I didn't reach out. What should someone do in a situation like this when you aren't close to a person who is clearly in distress? -- Wanting to Help, New York City
DEAR WANTING TO HELP: I assume that you are connected somehow on Facebook in order for you to have seen her post. This means that you do at least know each other. You are not strangers. While you may feel uncomfortable calling her (if you even know her number), since you aren't close, you can start by writing to her on her Facebook page to send her love and prayers. You can send her a direct, private message asking if there is anything you can do to support her. Sometimes a person in need feels more comfortable talking to someone who is not so close.
I will also caution that you are not a suicide counselor. This woman may need a professional to help her. You can point her to suicidepreventionlifeline.org for that.