About

Our founder Sandra Elder, Ph.D., was a respected academic researcher in the field of grief and loss and a hospice practitioner. She saw the need for accessible supportive programs for youth experiencing loss and in 1988, created a group program for young people, creating Friends of Living and Learning Through Loss (LTL) which became a registered Canadian charity in 1994. Since then, Learning Through Loss have become the community experts at helping youth through grief and loss and bereavement while teaching others about the impact of grief on youth.

 

Through our programs, workshops and counselling services, we reach thousands of youth each year providing education and support to youth in need. Our programs are built on the strength of youth peer support, belonging, and learning how to navigate grief and loss guided by a qualified registered clinical counsellor. Learning Through Loss also offers short-term grief counselling support to youth who can benefit from more targeted, individual support.

 

Educational workshops are provided to youth in schools, colleges and community organizations to enhance community awareness and knowledge about the grief process. Our community education and professional development workshops are available to all in the community including those working directly with youth, to family members and loved ones who want to learn how to better support youth through grief and loss.

 

Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be.

Joan Didion

Our Mission

Learning Through Loss (LTL) designs and delivers grief and loss education and support programs to youth and provides professional development and  training to other youth-serving organizations to increase capacity and well being through grief, loss and bereavement.

 

Our Vision

We envision a community where all youth, and those that support them, have access to education, support, and resources relating to grief, loss and healthy strategies for healing.

 

Our Values

Hope 
Providing hope to youth, their families, and community members who are
experiencing grief and loss.

Healing Education
Providing professional resources to youth, their families, and community members to live,
learn, and heal through their losses.

Community
Working collaboratively with our community partners to support youth experiencing
grief and loss.

Ethical
Serving youth, their families, and community members with integrity, professionalism,
accountability and excellence.

 

Support a grieving youth.

 

Our Executive Director

CAROLINE DONELLE

Executive Director

As Executive Director, Caroline is focused on expanding and enhancing LTL services in support of one of Victoria’s important community organizations; ensuring youth experiencing grief, loss and bereavement have easy and barrier free access to grief supports. With a background in non-profit management, health, health research and education in a variety of roles in major health and academic research centres in Montréal and Toronto, Caroline is deeply committed to positively impacting the lives of others through education, support, and opportunity. She understands the necessity of supporting youth through the often life changing difficult grief and loss experience. 

Our Facilitators

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DAVID SEGAL MA, RCC

Program Director, Facilitator and Counsellor

David has been providing counselling to children, youth, adults, couples, and families for over nearly two decades. He possesses the tools and skills for guiding people to truly know their own inherent wholeness and how to work with the inevitable struggles of life like grief in order to harness and harvest the gifts and learning available. David completed his Masters degree in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, is registered with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors and holds certifications and advanced training in areas such as complex trauma, grief and loss, anxiety and depression, addictions, diversity, nature-based therapy, and mindfulness.  When not counselling, he loves playing sports, exploring forests, and spending time with his family.

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GAYLENE TURNER MA, RCC

Facilitator and Counsellor

Gaylene has been assisting clients professionally for over twenty years in a variety of capacities, including as a registered clinical counsellor. Gaylene has worked with children and youth who have experienced sexualized violence and/or other forms of complex trauma, as a school counsellor in a First Nations school, and also maintains an established private practice. She led a team in assisting refugees and immigrants settle in Canada; and in Victim Services, she assisted people who were victims of crime and trauma. She has also worked in pastoral care. A Victoria resident since 2004, Gaylene’s own experiences with grief, trauma, and healing have informed her work, abilities, and passion.  She and her partner have two children; care for many animal companions; and enjoy the incredible natural surroundings of the southern island. 

MAGGIE REIDY MA,RCC

Facilitator and Counsellor

Maggie Reidy has a BA in Child and Youth Care and a Master’s in counselling from the University of Victoria. Maggie is a registered clinical counsellor with over 25 years experience working with children, youth, adults and families in a variety of settings. Her work experiences includes time as a Youth and Family Counsellor in an Alternate School, an Youth Outreach Worker, a clinician at the Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Society, a High School/Middle School counsellor with Indigenous Youth, in addition to a thriving private practice for people of all ages. Maggie is grateful to live in Victoria with her family and is a dedicated facilitator at Learning Through Loss.

ASHLEY GILLIES MA

Facilitator

Ashley Gillies is a Process-Oriented Community Psychologist, Somatic, Earth-based Therapist and Deep Democracy Facilitator. Gratefully living and working on Lekwungen Territory, Ashley maintains a private practice supporting individuals and couples through transformation, as well as providing teaching methods for somatic healing and relationship facilitation in colleges and workshop settings. Having lost both her parents at a younger age, Ashley trained in a wide array of approaches to grief work. Ashley is a facilitator with Learning Through Loss where she is able to offer knowing support and guidance to youth and families experiencing grief and loss. 

LIZ BEATTIE MCP, RCC

Facilitator and Counsellor

A Registered Clinical Counsellor with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, Liz received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria and a Master of Counselling Psychology from Adler University in Vancouver. She practices from a client-centred approach, using empathy and connection to help each individual find their own path to growth and healing. She integrates evidence-based techniques, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), to encourage self-awareness of thoughts, behaviours, and emotions. Liz also draws from Mindfulness, Somatic, and Trauma-Informed approaches. Specifically, she focuses on working with teens and young adults in the areas of grief & loss, anxiety, and depression. She is grateful to live and work on Coast Salish Territory. Outside the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, song-writing, playing guitar, and being near the ocean.

SARAH DUNCAN MA

Facilitator and Counsellor

Sarah has an BA from Vancouver Island University in Child and Youth Care, and a Master’s degree in Counselling from City University. Sarah is a creative, calm and respectful counsellor who feels privileged to have lived and worked on the traditional lands of the Quw’utsun people for over 15 years. She has worked in a variety of non-profit counselling organizations, VIHA, Cowichan Valley School District, Cowichan Tribes, and Child and Youth Mental Health.

Our Board of Directors

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James Amarelo

Chair

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Brendan Wright

Board Member

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Michael McDonald

Treasurer

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Anita Weng

Board Member