As a site about interpersonal skills, we attract a lot of questions about dealing with persons with a mental health issue, or about people that are having trouble with their own interpersonal skills because of mental health issues.
Some of these are closed as off-topic with a custom close reason of "needs professional help". Here's some examples of questions that ask about dealing with a person that has mental health problems:
How to help my girlfriend get her confidence back?
In the case of this question, the person with mental health problems and the OP of the question are already getting professional counseling themselves. People voted to close because there really isn't much we can give here:
- We either agree with what their professional tells them to do and confirm that (see the most upvoted answer).
- Or we give advice that is unprofessional/maybe even contradicting the professional advice they are getting, and that might thus put them in danger since we are just random internet people and don't know all the facts (we don't have a medical case-file).
How do I deal with frequent demands for attention?
In this case, users also voted to close as all the advice OP might have gotten, might have done more bad than good, on the premise that a suicidal friend needs professional help and not the advice of random internet people.
In both cases, it seems like OP's of the questions are trying to find advice on how to 'treat' or 'handle' the mental health problem itself, and therefore their questions are closed. But both questions remained open for quite some time, and one of them gained a reopen vote as soon as it was closed.
I'm arguing that these questions stayed open for too long since there is no close-vote reason that says 'Needs professional help' and so people might not even know that this is a legitimate close-reason for a question. They might even be struggling with what to say when writing a custom close-vote (as I did on these 2 questions). And that therefore, we need a custom close reason that addresses questions being closed as 'requiring professional help'.
I'd like to hear your opinions about this, and any advice as to what such a custom reason should state.