Shayn Ember grew up in Oklahoma and earned their bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in neuroscience before deciding to change directions to work in the mental health field. After working for four years in programs that serve teens and young adults with substance use disorders, they decided to go back to school to get a clinical degree. Currently, they are pursuing an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Bridgeport. After completing their BSN, they plan to work in an inpatient psychiatric treatment setting while studying to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Their goal is to directly provide life-saving, competent care for queer and trans people who struggle with mental health issues including substance use disorders. In addition to doing direct clinical work, they will continue to lead and advocate for policy changes that increase access to care in their state. The main driving force of Shayn’s work is to decrease “deaths of despair” such as overdoses and suicides, especially in the LGBTQ community and other marginalized populations.