MANILA, Philippines – The family of Ica Policarpio on Tuesday, December 26, clarified that her disappearance was “out of deep emotional distress” and was not a prank.
“The reasons for her distress are numerous and honestly, private,” her sister Bea Policarpio said in a Facebook post.
“She is still being evaluated medically, and it is our family’s sole responsibility to understand what has caused her to carry so much pain not just in the recent past, but apparently, for several months, and even years prior,” Bea added.
The 17-year-old Ica was declared missing as of 10:53 pm last Thursday, December 21, in Muntinlupa City. She was eventually found in San Pablo, Laguna on Sunday morning, December 24, after her siblings turned to social media for help.
The Policarpio family assured the public that they are “doing everything” to make sure Ica receives the “medical attention and emotional support” she needs.
They also defended her from negative social media comments, adding that what happened to Ica hopefully raises awareness of mental health.
“At this point, she does not deserve our blind judgment and hate….If there’s anything positive that we hope can result from this experience, it is to raise awareness about the stigma of mental health and the growing culture of hate which unfortunately exists in our country’s cyberspace, and collective mind space,” Bea said.
“My parents just hope all parents can learn from our experience and take this as a wake-up call to be more sensitive with their children’s emotional needs,” she added. (READ: Ica Policarpio’s dad: ‘This will forever change us’)
The family also thanked individuals who helped them, particularly those behind the tweet that led to finding Ica in Laguna, a certain Manny who found the girl, and officials of Barangay IIB – Kagawad Emma Cervana and Chairman Leonardo Villanueva – who facilitated Ica’s reunion with her family. (READ: INSIDE STORY: The tweet that led to finding Ica Policarpio)
“We would also like to publicly thank the netizens who pointed our way to Ica. All our major leads resulted because these courageous individuals had seen our posts on social media, recognized my sister’s face, and contacted us,” Bea said. – Rappler.com
The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has a hotline to help those secretly suffering from depression. The numbers to call are 804-4673 and 0917-558-4673. Globe and TM subscribers may call the toll-free number 2919. More information is available on its website. It’s also on Twitter (@NGFoundationPH) and Facebook.