Trigger warning: depression, suicide, anxiety
What brings me to ask this question today is because I recently created a Stack Exchange proposal which scope may partially overlap the IPS scope. One of the proposal's followers raised that concern and I was dazzled by that answer to the question:
[...] When unsuspecting users wander into this site looking for help with deeply personal issues, it seems almost cruel at times when the interface itself becomes the main encumbrance when users can only "answer, but no discussion".
It is difficult at times (and often disheartening) to turn a user away when they are simply looking for someone to talk to about a personal problem that is in the title of the site itself. [...]
I've been frequently encountering this situation, where OP have issues regarding anxiety/depression/self-esteem/harassment/... in the case where I felt it might be useful, I invited them to stop by the chat to discuss it in a less official way, but so far I feel I might be the only one doing this. I'm not even sure this is the right way to help them, but sometimes, guiding them towards online help doesn't feel exactly right. Having been suicidal myself, I know how hard it is to reach those help instances, as it may appear like it's your last shot at resisting death appeal. And you fear that should the call/messages go not so well, you won't have any strength anymore to go on living. However, talking to strangers may be of real help in some situations, which is why I think offering them to stop by the chat may help.
Should we invite hurting users, whose question is off-topic, to stop by the chat and talk about it in a more casual way?