Student Spotlight: David Berlinski, Master of Psychology (Clinical) graduate
MSPS graduate, David Berlinski, is providing teenagers with the tools and skills to look after their mental health.
Toolbox Education: collaborative learning and evidence-based practice
While completing a Master of Psychology (Clinical), David Berlinski (pictured, left) learned invaluable skills and tools for managing life’s most difficult situations. Conversations with his friend, Ben, led to the realisation that these tools are often unavailable to people until they see a psychologist, leaving teenagers to deal with difficult situations and emotions on their own.
Lengthy wait times for psychological services, coupled with a rise in anxiety and mental health issues as a result of ongoing lockdowns, have revealed an acute need for preventative mental health measures. David and Ben asked, “What if we could teach these tools to teenagers before they encountered life’s difficult moments?” And so, Toolbox Education was born. Through this initiative, the duo runs engaging and interactive workshops for high school students on the tools and skills David discovered throughout his Master’s, in a relatable and practical way.
“Toolbox teaches skills like how to regulate your emotions, how to catch your mind when it spins a story, how to limit procrastination and how to manage perfectionism. The key is that Toolbox workshops not only apply the tools to a teenager’s day-to-day life, they also use concepts and language students can relate to.”
David credits the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences’ strong emphasis on collaborative learning and evidence-based practice with ensuring effective outcomes at Toolbox Education.
“All our content is derived from evidence-based research, whether it is from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and more.”
As his course comes to an end this year, David reflects on the School’s collaborative learning environment, the breadth and depth of several engaging lectures, and supportive supervision. When he’s not working on Toolbox Education, David enjoys playing soccer on the weekend with friends, watching Marvel movies, singing songs from the musical Hamilton, as well as walking his Finnish Lapphund, Maali.
In ten years’, time, David hopes to see Toolbox Education running workshops in every school in Australia and being a leading voice in the world of adolescent mental health. With over 75% of all mental health issues arising before the age of 25, he believes there is a clear need for better preventative mental health measures to be implemented across all schools.