Facebook came to the rescue this morning. Emma was having a really bad morning, and luckily with a little prompting from a friend in real life (via text, but still), she confided in me.
Apparently she got a text from Katie (the girl in England) last night, and she was making very specific threats of suicide. Emma was sick to her stomach from dealing with this on her own over the night. We talked about it, and she asked me whether there was anything I could do to contact Katie's parents. Turns out Katie's last name is Smith, which I thought would make this an impossible task, but I searched on Facebook for a Katie Smith.
I searched through profile photos and came across a girl in the right age group. When I showed Emma her photo, she was able to identify her as the same Katie. She had a few photos public, and we found a man tagged in one of them who appeared to be her father. I wrote him a Facebook message, explaining that he didn't know me, but our daughter's had become friends. I told him about Katie's disclosures. And luckily he happened to check his messages.
Well, it turns out Katie does self-harm. Katie's parents are divorced, and it seems to be an extremely bad relationship with her mother that has led her down this path. She lives with her dad, but still has visits with her mom --apparently she just came back from spending a few days with her mom, and her dad said she's always worse after those times. We went back and forth with several messages and I was able to forward him the specific dates that Katie had sent to Emma. So now we know that Katie has support at home, and he'll be prepared to get her the extra help she needs right now. And Emma can just be a friend.
A good ending --so far.