Sometimes, when I meet a friend (friend X, say) they will ask me about how another friend (friend Y) is going, with genuine concern about their well being. Friend Y might not be doing well, but I'm uncomfortable explaining this to friend X as it might be interpreted as backbiting.
At the same time, saying to friend X that friend Y is fine seems inappropriate, as it could be considered lying (or is, at least, misleading), which might obstruct friend X helping friend Y.
Nor can I easily explain "it's inappropriate for me to talk about friend Y negatively", as it implies that friend Y is struggling, which may again be interpreted as backbiting.
Question: When a genuinely concerned friend asks about another friend who is struggling, how can I reply in a meaningful way without it being backbiting?
This dilemma doesn't seem to be addressed here yet. The two most relevant backbiting questions I found were:
What is backbiting and what kinds of speech are considered backbiting identifies what backbiting is: Backbiting is talking about your (Muslim) brother in a manner which he dislikes.
When is talking behind someone's back allowed? establishes some exceptions to backbiting