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About -  Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss


Learning Through Loss

It takes a village to raise young people

Grief & loss programs built on the strength of youth peer support

Grief is universal and support should be too.


Immersed in the field of grief and loss, respected academic researcher and hospice practitioner Sandra Elder Ph.D. realized the need for accessible, supportive programs for youth experiencing loss. In 1988, she created a group program for young people called Friends of Living and Learning Through Loss (LTL) which became a registered Canadian charity in 1994. Since then, Learning Through Loss has become the community expert at helping youth through grief and loss and bereavement while teaching others about the impact of grief on youth and how to better help them through it.


Through our programs, workshops and counselling services, we reach thousands of youth each year. Our programs are built on the strength of youth peer support, belonging, and the often difficult terrain of navigating grief and loss guided by an experienced registered clinical counsellor.  


Educational workshops are provided to youth in schools and community organizations to enhance community awareness and knowledge about grief. Our community education and professional development workshops are available to communities across the island for anyone who wants to learn more about how to better support youth through loss. 


Learning Through Loss is a proudly an accessible and inclusive organization that is welcoming to BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+ and all youth regardless of socio-economic status. 







I learned that, with grief, you have to take it one day at a time and learn how to find the happiness amid the heartbreak.

Adrienne C. Moore

Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss

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

-Joan Didion

Our Mission

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

Our Values

Who we are 


Giving hope to youth, their families, and community members who are navigating grief and loss.


Providing professional resources to youth, their families, schools and community members to live, learn, and cope with loss.


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


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

Our Mission, Vision and Values
Meet the Team

Meet the team

Our Operations & Program Support Team


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Executive Director

Meg is determined to increase access and reduce barriers for youth seeking support for grief, loss and bereavement. She firmly believes in the vision of LTL that grief is universal, and support should be too. Meg is prioritizing the expansion of LTL's workshops to help ensure that youth in Victoria have pillars of support in place when they need it most. Meg brings over a decade of mission-motivated leadership, and is deeply skilled at building, connecting and growing strong teams, as well as delivering exceptional results in the non-for-profit and private sector. Meg's own experience with loss led her to this area of work, and she is passionate about supporting LTL in it mission. 

Kathryn Dafos - Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss


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Program Director

Kathryn is focused on ensuring youth experiencing grief, loss, and bereavement have easy and barrier-free access to grief support. To further LTL’s endeavours, she is working on expanding and enhancing LTL services in support of one of Victoria’s important community organizations. She is a skilled strategist, public relations and organizational development professional with more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector. Her life experiences have uniquely shaped her ability to understand the profound impact of loss and grief, especially on young people.


Youth Engagement and Program Assistant

Ruva is a student pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Communications Studies. She has a passion for Public Relations and Marketing and is planning to focus her career down this path. In addition to supporting LTL operational and program administration, Ruva is particularly interested in connecting with younger individuals through our social media platforms. Her own lived experiences enable her to deeply understand the gravity of coping with loss and grief. She looks forward to her using her voice help support fellow youth find comfort and support at Learning Through Loss. 


Volunteer Youth Ambassador

Olivia Hahn joined LTL as a Volunteer Youth Ambassador in the spring of 2023. Inspired by participating in one of LTL's loss and grief peer support programs, Olivia reached out to explore ways she could make a meaningful contribution to other young people experiencing profound loss and grief. In addition to joining LTL at events, Olivia supports outreach to encourage other young people to seek support. She is also part of our youth consultation team and helps inform ways that LTL can better connect with young people, who like her, are seeking hope, comfort and community so they don't have to grieve alone.

An accomplished author of two books, Olivia shares her wisdom and insights in her two books. Healing our Wounded Hearts: A real life story about loss in the voice of teenager and To Hold Your Hand One More Time: A book of poetry.

Our Counsellors & Facilitators
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Layla Casper is an experienced high school educator and retired professional Dance Artist. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration, Education, and has recently started her Master’s Degree in School Counselling. Layla is passionate about supporting youth and advocating for Arts in Education.

Maggie Reidy - Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss


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 of experience working with children, youth, adults and families in multiple settings. Her work experiences include 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 - Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss



Ashley Gillies is a Process-Oriented Community, Somatic, Earth-based Therapist and Deep Democracy Facilitator. Gratefully living and working in 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 can offer knowledge, support, and guidance to youth and families experiencing grief and loss.




Nichola intentionally creates safe spaces to have conversations and work together. She is a graduate of City University of Seattle and a Registered Clinical Counsellor with more than fifteen years of experience. In addition to providing loss and grief counselling for Learning Through Loss, Nichola works with individuals experiencing psychological trauma, interpersonal violence, suicidality, substance use, as well as mental well-being and poverty issues. As a crisis counsellor for Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, she also provides immediate short-term support to women, girls, and trans survivors of sexualized violence. Nichola leads a Black Youth Empowerment Group and worked as a private contractor at a Tribal School providing counselling to children and youth. When she is not doing clinical work, Nichola is researching, writing, or publishing books. She is grateful to live and work on the unceded Coast Salish territory of the Lekwungen and WSANEC nations.



Facilitator and Program Developer

Chelsea is privileged to be a guest on the beautiful traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples where she strives to offer inclusive and compassionate support to the diverse families.  A death doula and a registered clinical counsellor, Chelsea helps individuals, families and children feel anchored through the uncertainty of a serious diagnosis or the grief of terminal illness. Chelsea has a master’s degree in education from the University of British Columbia and a Certificate in Human Rights Education from Equitas International Centre for Human Rights Education in Montreal. She lives in Victoria with her two children, loves to watch baking shows with her family, though she says her own recipes don’t usually turn out as well as the ones on tv!


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MACAYLA YAN, RCC (Any Pronouns)


Based on Lekwungen Homelands, Macayla is a justice-oriented counsellor. Their approach is rooted in systemic, holistic, and anti-colonial understandings of wellness. In counselling, they understand the relationship to be the foundation of the work we do together. To Macayla this means believing in a co-created  safe and establishing a supportive relationship together that  provides space for nurturance and transformation. Macayla works with you to uphold and expand upon your inner healing abilities and natural capacity for growth. 




 Kyla is a Mental Health Clinician working in the greater Victoria area. She works both in private practice and in a local high school as a Youth and Family Counsellor. She has over fourteen years experience working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings. Kyla received her Masters in Clinical Social Work from the University of Calgary.  Kyla works with a trauma informed lens and continuously strives to create a safe and non-judgmental collaborative environment for those that she works with. Kyla is passionate about supporting and empowering youth and their families through life’s journeys. In her free time Kyla can be found walking, hiking and exploring in nature and on the amazing beaches of the west coast.  

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Our Board of Directors

Samantha Magnus

Monique Sekhon

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Vice Chair
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Tim Cummings

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Olachi Okwengu

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Sharina Duprey

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Akshay Mehta

Marion Selfridge

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Tommy Tu

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Zaid AlShaddadi

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Mauricio Deutsch

Director of Strategy
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Join Our Board -  Learning Through Loss: Support in Grief & Loss

Take action. Join our Board of Directors. 

Our Board of Directors are an essential part of furthering our mission to make grieving resources and support more accessible to youth. By becoming an director, you directly affect the lives of thousands of youth each year.

Please fill in our expression of interest form and we will be in touch.

Join our board

Support Youth in Need 

Every donation counts and goes a long way!

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