Mental Wellness Symposium: Fostering Mental Health Awareness


May 18-19, 2024

Welcome to a conference that transcends traditional boundaries, weaving together psychology, alternative therapies, and mindfulness. Immerse yourself in presentations that unveil holistic strategies for mental health. Whether you're a professional or enthusiast, the Mental Wellness Symposium provides a dynamic space to deepen understanding and harmonize the diverse elements of mental well-being. Join us in reshaping the narrative around mental health, fostering a balanced and comprehensive perspective that resonates with the intricate complexities of the mind.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Peter Bongiorno, ND
  • David Brady, ND, DC, CCN, DACBN, IFMCP, FACN
  • Lexi Lain, ND
  • Jonathan E. Prousky, ND
  • Koichi Tanji, ND, LMHCA, FMAPS
  • Greg Yasuda, ND
  • Jess Zadra, MS, CNS
  • Susan Pullen

CE Credits:


12 PDA points approved via NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) 

NUNM is accredited by the North American Naturopathic Continuing Education Accreditation Council (NANCEAC). This activity qualifies for 10.5 General, 1.5 Suicide Prevention (Total 12.0) CEUs.

Webinar Details:

  • This fully online virtual event will be hosted through Zoom
  • Recordings of all conference presentations are provided for attendees at no additional cost
  • Recordings can be viewed for credit after the event if you do not attend live


9:00 - 10:30 AM "Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: A Personalized Multi-Omics Approach" David Brady, ND, DC, CCN, DACBN, IFMCP, FACN
10:30 - 11:00 AM BREAK
11:00 - 12:30 PM "The Languages of the Body: An Embodied Approach to Emotional Wellness" Greg Yasuda, ND
12:30 - 1:30 PM LUNCH
1:30 - 3:00 PM "Unplug to Thrive: Understanding the Impact of Screen Addiction on Mental Health" Koichi Tanji, ND
3:00 - 3:30 PM BREAK
3:30 - 5:00 PM "Foundational Nutrients for Mental Health" Jess Zadra, MS, CNS


9:00 - 10:30 AM "Mental Health and GABA Signaling" Peter Bongiorno, ND
10:30 - 11:00 AM BREAK
11:00 - 12:30 PM "Assessing Stress and Thrive Amidst Chaos" Lexi Lain, ND
12:30 - 1:30 PM LUNCH
1:30 - 3:00 PM "Avoiding Self-Annihilation: Strategies for Suicide Prevention and Intervention" Jonathan E. Prousky, ND
3:00 - 3:30 PM BREAK
3:30 - 5:00 PM "Mental Wellness and Family System: When the Root Cause is in the Family Tree" Susan Pullen

David Brady Headshot


"Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: A Personalized Multi-Omics Approach"

Join Dr. David Brady, Chief Medical Officer of Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory and Designs for Health, as he presents “Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: A Multi-Omics Approach.” Depression, anxiety, and stress-related conditions impact almost 40 million Americans each year. With so many patients suffering, practitioners need tools to help assess and determine therapeutic approaches to common mental health conditions.

In this exciting presentation, Dr. Brady will teach practitioners to use a personalized multi-omics approach to optimize outcomes for patients suffering from stress, depression, and anxiety.

Bio: Dr. David M. Brady has over 30-years of experience as an integrative medicine practitioner and 25 years in health sciences academia. He is a licensed naturopathic medical physician in Connecticut and Vermont, is board certified in functional medicine and clinical nutrition, and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition. He is the Chief Medical Officer for Diagnostic Solutions Labs, LLC, and Designs for Health, Inc. He is in private practice in the integrative medicine group Whole Body Medicine, in Fairfield, CT (USA). He is the former long-term vice president of the Division of Health Sciences and director of the Human Nutrition Institute at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he continues to serve as director and professor emeritus of nutrition. He has appeared on the plenary speaking panel of some of the largest and most prestigious conferences in the field including, IFM, ACAM, A4M, CAN, HIS, AANP, AIHM, and many more. Dr. Brady has published a multitude of peer-reviewed scientific papers and textbooks related to functional and naturopathic medicine, clinical nutrition, chronic pain, autoimmunity and functional gastroenterology.


Greg Yasuda Headshot

Greg Yasuda, ND

"The Languages of the Body: An Embodied Approach to Emotional Wellness"

Medicine has become increasingly fast-paced and protocol-driven such that it can be difficult to slow down and simply observe and listen to the patient in front of me. When I do, however, what I find is a wealth of information that often informs and even directs the treatment plan. I’ll be discussing the various ways that the languages of the body help me to bridge the perceived gap between mind and body as well as delving into some of the research that supports them.

Bio: Greg Yasuda, ND, VNMI, is a 2003 graduate from Bastyr University. As a didactic and clinical faculty member there since 2008 and the Associate Dean of Academics from 2018-2021, he has placed a strong emphasis on holism and the vis medicatrix naturae in helping students and patients to capitalize on their unique strengths in navigating their journeys toward health and healing. Some areas of particular interest include craniosacral, visceral work, homeopathy and the role of belonging as a social determinant of health.


Koichi Tanji Headshot

Koichi Tanji, ND

"Unplug to Thrive: Understanding the Impact of Screen Addiction on Mental Health"

In an increasingly digitalized world, the pervasive presence of screens has transformed the way we live, work, and interact. However, amidst the convenience and connectivity offered by technology, a darker reality emerges – the detrimental impact of screen addiction on mental health. "Unplug to Thrive: Understanding the Impact of Screen Addiction on Mental Health" delves into this pressing issue, exploring the intricate relationship between excessive screen usage and mental well-being. Through a comprehensive review of current research, this presentation elucidates the various psychological, emotional, and social ramifications of screen addiction. From heightened anxiety and depression to disrupted sleep patterns and diminished interpersonal relationships, the toll of excessive screen time on mental health is undeniable. Moreover, this presentation highlights the importance of fostering digital mindfulness and implementing strategies for screen moderation to mitigate these adverse effects. By understanding the nuances of screen addiction and its repercussions on mental health, individuals can embark on a journey towards greater balance, well-being, and fulfillment in an increasingly screen-dominated world.

Bio: Licensed in both naturopathic medicine and mental health counseling in Washington, Dr. Koichi Tanji’s unique blend of expertise sets him apart. A proud alumnus of Bastyr University, he infuses his knowledge of sports nutrition, exercise sports science, and natural medicine into holistic therapy and psychiatry.

A significant milestone in his career was his tenure at reSTART Life PLLC, the first residential treatment center in the U.S. dedicated to addressing Internet and Video Game addiction. It was here that he honed his skills in managing and healing digital dependencies.

Distinguished as a fellow from the Medical Academy of Pediatrics with Special Needs (MAPS), Dr. Tanji is at the forefront of pioneering biomedical treatments for Autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions. His commitment to the realm of natural health doesn’t end with treatments alone. Dr. Tanji actively molds the next generation of healers as an adjunct faculty at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, guiding Masters and Doctorate students through their clinical training journeys.

Nationally recognized for his expertise, he has graced several conferences as an esteemed speaker. Outside the realm of medicine and education, Dr. Tanji finds solace in the great outdoors, often accompanied by his two children, cherishing moments of fishing and camping.


Jess Zadra Headshot

Jess Zadra, MS, CNS

"Foundational Nutrients for Mental Health"

This presentation will cover the foundational nutrients required for optimal mental health that ultimately have a huge impact on mood. Unfortunately, many clients fall short of consuming the adequate nutrients necessary for optimal neurotransmitter production through dietary intake alone which may make them more susceptible to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. This presentation will cover the specific nutrients that support specific neurotransmitter productions such as catecholamines, (dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) serotonin, etc. - how they support this production, and ultimately, what foods are the highest and most bioavailable for each of the nutrients. We’ll additionally discuss how macronutrient intake (protein, carbohydrates, fat) impact mood disorders. The presentation will provide dietary takeaways for anxiety, depression, as well as conditions like PMS & PMDD that those struggling with these concerns can focus on.

Bio: Jess Zadra, MS, CNS is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and holds a MS degree in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine. She is an experienced nutritionist who has been practicing clinically for several years as a part of multiple integrative functional medicine teams. In addition to her one-on-one work with clients, Jess is particularly passionate about mental health and creating educational content to help others discover the power of food in transforming their mood.

Peter Bongiorno Headshot

Peter Bongiorno, ND

"Mental Health and GABA Signaling"

Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is the most calming substance in the body. We know when a patient takes a benzodiazepine which raises GABA, in the short term they feel more relaxed and generally happy. However, benzos are not healthy medications for they encourage dependence, tolerance and end up changing the brain in ways that can make it much harder to heal from an affective disorder in the long term.

Please join Dr. Peter Bongiorno, as he discusses GABA, this miraculous molecule of emotion. He will discuss GABA receptor structure and the reasons your patients have lowered GABA levels. Then he will discuss testing to understand your patient’s physiology (like hormones, nutrient levels, inflammation, gut tests, genetics and more) that can help you understand why a patient has challenges with their GABA system.

Finally, Peter will dive into his 20 years of clinical practice and review naturopathic protocols (lifestyle, foods, nature, supplements) designed to raise the body’s natural levels of GABA, as well as discuss how to use your new knowledge of the GABA receptor to create a patient – specific protocol that will naturally hit the right spots on the GABA receptor. This lecture will bring you clinical pearls and insights you can employ with your patients the next day.


Lexi Lain Headshot

Lexi Lain, ND

"Assessing Stress and Thrive Amidst Chaos"

From 0 – 100+, if you are a living human in this modern-day society, you will experience stress at some point. For some, stress is an overwhelming constant state of being while others may experience stressful situations but would report not living a “stressful life.” Regardless of where a person is on the stress scale, the conversations we hold space for and tools we provide in the clinical setting can bring a patient back into empowerment, their light, and into that parasympathetic state of healing we all aim for. Please join us for this educational and motivating presentation by Dr. Lexi Lain as she takes the audience on an enlightening journey that offers actionable tools anyone can use to take back control and rise above any challenge.

Bio: As owner and chief executive officer of Summit Vitality, Dr. Lexi Lain helps entrepreneurs and professionals enjoy success with their health intact. Through her passion to see people lead healthy lives physically and emotionally, she helps her clients have a different relationship to stress by motivating them to make their health a priority and teaching them how to take care of themselves. She does this through inspiring educational talks and programs.

Dr. Lexi earned a doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oklahoma State University. She has presented nationally and internationally through virtual events, locally for in-person conferences, and has been a featured guest on numerous radio talk shows. She is also past international chair of the Rotary Club International of Davidson and a 3-time half-ironman finisher. Dr. Lexi’s mantra is, “Stop asking me what you should be taking for something. Ask me what you should be DOING instead.” Presently, she is building her community of healthy professionals through a 6-Step Stress Management Masterclass and finishing her first book, “Get Your Spark Back in Health.”


Jonathan Prousky Headshot

Jonathan E. Prousky, ND

"Avoiding Self-Annihilation: Strategies for Suicide Prevention and Intervention"

Part I of this presentation will review the salient phenomenological aspects of this worrisome and extreme manifestation of mental distress (a.k.a., often referred to as psychache or mental pain). Part II will explore suicide statistics in North America and Globally. Then we will review best practices when evaluating and navigate the clinical complexities that happen when a patient expresses suicidal ideation. Safety planning will also be discussed, including a structured format to ensure that all the necessary elements are considered/completed when working on this collaborative document with the patient. Part III will review the published literature that has identified omega-3 essential fatty acid deficiencies, abnormalities of kynurenine pathways, and lithium levels in drinking (tap) water to that of suicide. This information will form the basis of a potential panel of biologic substrates that clinicians could evaluate for with the ultimate aim of lessening any patient’s vulnerability to completed suicide. The focus will be on specific micronutrient treatments that might be able to reduce vulnerability to suicide.

Bio: Dr. Jonathan Prousky (ND, Bastyr University, 1998; MSc, University of London, 2008; MACP, Yorkville University, 2016) is the Chief Naturopathic Medical Officer at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Ontario). His primary responsibility is ensuring the delivery of safe and effective naturopathic medical care to patients, as well as ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the medical training in the naturopathic program. His clinical practice focus is primarily on the evaluation and management of mental health problems. He has spent over 25 years advocating for patients that wish to receive complementary and alternative means to help their mental struggles. He was the first naturopathic doctor to receive the “Orthomolecular Doctor of the Year” award in 2010, and later to be inducted into the Orthomolecular Hall of Fame in 2017. Dr. Prousky is the author of more than 60 scholarly publications, and several texts including Anxiety: Orthomolecular Diagnosis and Treatment, and the Textbook of Integrative Clinical Nutrition.


Susan Pullen HeadshotSusan Pullen

"Mental Wellness and Family System: When the Root Cause is in the Family Tree"

This session will be an enlightening exploration into the intricate relationship between emotional well-being and inherited family trauma. Explore how generational patterns and family dynamics can perpetuate emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety, anger, shame, fears, and persistent grief. Without recognizing these underlying systemic influences, our interventions may fall short of creating lasting change.

Learn to identify 4 signs when inherited family trauma may be the root cause of symptoms. By understanding the systemic context in which these symptoms arise, we can tailor our interventions to address the underlying source of distress, leading to more profound and sustainable healing outcomes. Discover practical insights into addressing inherited family trauma effectively based in the healing modality of Family Constellations – a process that brings these hidden connections to light. By understanding the 6 principles of systemic healing, we can empower our patients to break free from repeating cycles to cultivate greater emotional resilience and well-being.

Bio: Susan Pullen is dedicated to enhancing emotional and physical well-being by guiding people to understand and bring resolution to their family history, freeing up their innate capacity for healing. Susan holds a deep understanding of the intricate interplay of ancestral tragedies, family dynamics, and our present lives, recognizing inherited family trauma as the underlying cause of many symptoms and repeating patterns.

As a Healing Facilitator and Workshop Leader, Susan works with private clients to improve their health, emotional well-being, and relationships. Through True Radiance Healing Arts, she also trains healers, therapists, coaches, and others drawn to support roles to assist their clients in breaking the cycle of generational trauma to feel better and transform their lives.

Susan’s commitment to empowering people to heal extends to her workshops and talks, which she has offered to diverse organizations including Bastyr University, Cancer Lifeline, Unity Church, and Phinney Neighborhood Center. Based in Edmonds, WA, Susan resides with her husband, finding solace and joy in connecting with nature, particularly through birdwatching in her garden.

Unavailable at this time.