Each month the Missouri Behavioral Health Counseling Associates name a Mental Health Hero for the surrounding community. Each hero is selected based on their commitment to benefiting the community through their attitude and every day work. This month’s hero is David Clifton, the Assistant Chaplain for the Rolla Rural Fire Department.

Tabitha Hundt, the Project Heroes Coordinator, said, “David Clifton has helped numerous people through tragedy and trauma. His calm, accessible demeanor benefit those around him. He has been in fire service for over thirty years and has extensive experience. He was previously with the Vichy Volunteer Fire Department before coming to Rolla. People gravitate toward him because they feel heard when talking to him.”

When asked about the qualities Clifton displays in his work, Hundt said he is very approachable and understanding. At the RRFPD, he is known as the “Scrappin’ Chaplain.” He calls the younger firefighters his “brat squad.” He has much knowledge and wisdom to share, and cares deeply about helping others. In 2012, he volunteered for the Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. He also has experience as a volunteer hospice worker.”

David Clifton, according to Tabitha Hundt, is also a Vietnam veteran and was injured while serving in the line of duty. It was  during this time that he met several chaplains, which inspired him to become one. He is a member of the Federation of Fire Chaplains and the Missouri Fire Chaplains Corps.

Hundt said Clifton “urges those who are struggling not to be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help.” According to her,  Clifton  says mental health is “very important” and care has stated to improve throughout the past several years.