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SCI Smithfield and Huntingdon Raise Nearly $6,000 for First H.E.L.P.

August 21, 2023 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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On July 15, SCI Smithfield and SCI Huntingdon teamed up for a softball tournament to benefit First H.E.L.P., a national organization that honors the service of first responders who died by suicide. First H.E.L.P. reduces mental health stigma for first responders through education and awareness and assists first responders in their search for healing. They also care for families in the aftermath of a suicide loss.

Corrections Officer Adams, from SCI Smithfield, spearheaded this fundraiser in memory of his father who he lost to suicide in 2021. His father, T. Prough, was a 20-year veteran corrections officer at SCI Huntingdon. Mr. Prough was also a U.S. Navy veteran and served three and a half years as an Operations Specialist on the USS Savannah which provided support in many different combat areas. Prough suffered from nightmares after his service and subsequently fought mental health issues for decades prior to his suicide. CO Adams noted that to the outside world, his father appeared happy and carefree, but those closest to him knew his struggles with mental health.

CO Adams said that after the devastating loss of his father, his family found First H.E.L.P, and they were instrumental in their healing process. CO Adams decided that a softball tournament would be a great way to give back to the organization in honor his father's life, as baseball was a passion that Mr. Prough pursued through his coaching of Little League.

There were seven teams who participated in the tournament, along with the two SCIs. The event proved to be a success, as $5,800 was raised for First H.E.L.P. This was through a combination of funds collected for the tournament participation, t-shirt sales, and business and group donations.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This is an important time to remind our DOC staff of the many resources available within the DOC through COVER and CISM for those who are struggling with their mental health.


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