“Psych Congress” is an annual, national meeting of mental health professionals. It is the largest independent mental health educational conference offered in the US, connecting people from all realms of the mental healthcare community with the focused intention of improving patient care. Over a four-day span, the conference entails two options for pre-convention meetings (depending on your area of interest), an optional networking event to facilitate connections between colleagues, Psych Congress faculty, and members of the Steering Committee, and three full days of interactive seminars by leaders in the industry on a wide range of mental health topics. In addition, there will be a wide variety of mental health-related vendors present at the conference, bringing with them a wealth of information on the latest products, opportunities, medicines, and supplements available to better personalize treatment strategies for mental health patients.

In alphabetical order, the seminar topics covered at the conference will include the following: Addiction and Deterrence, ADHD, Anxiety Disorders, Autism Spectrum/Developmental Disorders, Assessment and Adherence, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dementia and Cognitive Disorders, Ethics, Forensic Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Mood Disorders, Neurobiology/Neuroscience, Neuromodulation, Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, Personality Disorders, Practice Management, Psychopharmacology, Psychotherapy, Psychotic Disorders, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse, Sleep Disorders, Substance Abuse, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Women’s Mental Health.

Psych Congress is hosted by HMP (Healthcare Made Practical), a leader and host of many healthcare events, always with an emphasis on education and a mission to improve patient care. HMP’s events are clinically relevant, provide evidence-based content for the global healthcare community, and service a wide range of therapeutic areas. The North American Center for Continuing Medical Education, LLC (NACCME), is a subsidiary of HMP, specifically focused on providing accreditation for the continuance of medical education of healthcare professionals. Their programs aim to “provide practical, real-world training, cover the latest techniques and treatments, emphasize best practices, and strengthen practitioner awareness of evidence-based care.”

Why and How are MethylPro and Metabolic Maintenance Involved?

For millennia, healthcare professionals have known that a healthy mind requires well-balanced nutritional health. With the advancement of science, research has been able to reveal the molecular metabolic mechanisms behind this truth. For example, we now know which nutrients from your diet contribute to things like the synthesis of neurotransmitters, hormones, and their receptors that in turn have an effect on your cognition, mood, sleep behavior, and the way you process the stress of life. When deficiencies in these key nutrients occur, due to diet or genetics, problems with these arenas of mental health can be a downstream symptom. 

While many of the nutritional supplements offered by Metabolic Maintenance contribute to the support of mental health, one product is of particular relevance. L-Methylfolate is offered by both Metabolic Maintenance and our sister company MethylPro, as a standalone nutrient, or in combination with B vitamins and other cofactors. L-Methylfolate also happens to be the only active ingredient added to the medical food, Deplin. Deplin is often prescribed to patients suffering from depression and other mood disorders, as a stand-alone product or as an add on to SSRIs and other antidepressant medication. MethylPro, with the same active ingredient, offers multiple dosing options.

In recent years, genetic testing has shown an overwhelming number of people carry either one or two copies of a defective gene, preventing them from properly processing dietary folic acid (folate). Not only is folate necessary for the sufficient production of serotonin and other mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, but it also prevents the buildup of homocysteine, which can have detrimental effects throughout the body. Due to the relationship between folate and serotonin, many people who carry this genetic difference, experience difficulty maintaining a positive, energetic mood. 

This is where MethylPro supplements come in. L-Methylfolate is the activated form of folate, that people with this genetic condition have trouble making. When you supplement with l-methylfolate, instead of folic acid, your body can use it immediately for all of its intended actions (such as serotonin), skipping the step for which your body may be ill-equipped. It works as a superior replacement for folic acid in all diets, regardless of your genetic make-up, due to its bioavailability, and may help to support a balanced mood. 

Additionally, this year’s Psych Congress is shining a light on “Practical Psychopharmacology”. There will be opportunities to educate (or “refresh”) professionals on receptor pharmacology and pharmacokinetics before introducing the relationship between two neurotransmitters that are breaking ground in current psychiatric research: GABA and glutamate. GABA is known as a calming, anxiolytic neurotransmitter, while glutamate, a precursor to GABA, is highly excitatory and the most abundant neurotransmitter in the nervous system. Metabolic Maintenance offers GABA as a dietary supplement as well as other natural products that can help to balance out toxic levels of glutamate.

MethylPro is excited to be attending Psych Congress this year as an exhibitor, to share information about natural dietary supplementation with mental health professionals who may still be learning about the mental health benefits of products like L-methylfolate or GABA. If you are attending the conference, please come visit us at booth #529, and we can give you personalized information about our wide array of nutritional supplements, specific to the needs of you or your patients and additionally offer you samples. 

Who’s Attending?

Although these topics are fascinating to many, unfortunately, this conference is not open to the general public. Psych Congress is designed and accredited for all members of the mental health sector, such as psychiatrists, primary care physicians, psychologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychiatric nurses, and other healthcare professionals who seek to improve the care of patients with mental health disorders.

If you are a mental health professional and interested in attending, Psych Congress is not only open to enrollment but also provides accreditation and continuing education credit for the progression of your career or education. Their website outlines that the learning objectives of attendance should prepare attendees to: 

  • “Identify the etiology, pathophysiology, and neural pathways of various psychiatric disorders and their effects on patients
  • “Implement evidence-based models on the use of psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic interventions to develop treatment plans, predict treatment response, optimize remission, and prevent relapse
  • “Employ strategies to identify and remove barriers to treatment to improve patient outcomes in the acute and long-term management of psychiatric disorders
  • “Assess psychiatric disorders, as well as patients’ overall health, including comorbidities, with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment”

(For more information about applicable credit categories and contact hours, please visit the Psych Congress website, referenced at the end of this editorial)

When And Where is Psych Congress Held?

This year, the conference is being held in San Diego, California, from October 3rd through October 6th. If you register before September 13, 2019, you can save $50 with an Early Bird Rate. A general rate of admission will be charged after this date, up until the end of the event.

The date and location changes yearly, so please visit their website for more information about future events. If you cannot attend this year’s Psych Congress, try searching for the smaller, Regional Psych Congress meetings held throughout the year in different regions around the US.

For more info, please visit https://national.psychcongress.com/