Help guide a community-based network to support the wellbeing of frontline crisis workers

Join the 2022 Soloss Sounding Board

Front-line workers in Edmonton have been facing life’s losses in spaces that may not have allowed for pause. Soloss is a creative and courageous group of Edmontonians exploring how we can break the stigma of reaching out to express grief. We are looking for guides and mentors called “Sounding Board” members to support our journey this Fall 2022.

Who is a Sounding Board member?

The Soloss Sounding Board is a group of knowledge holders coming from an array of cultural and spiritual traditions, and skilled in a range of therapeutic and creative practices. The Sounding Board members play important roles in their respective communities as listeners, creators, facilitators, and guides. 


We’re asking you to consider joining our Sounding Board, to help us navigate what comes up over the next few months through our prototype. The purpose of a prototype is to test and learn; so really, we’re looking for folks who are willing to help us see things from different perspectives, deepen our understanding, and overcome challenges. 

What is Soloss and Losstending?

Soloss is a prototype that offers a new model of community care that extends the conditions for healing to people living on the margins. Last year, 7 everyday Edmontonians signed up to be the first cohort of Losstenders.


As non-professional agents of creative expression and experimentation, Losstenders spent time with people in a downtown Edmonton neighbourhood, listening to their everyday experiences of loss, and helping to explore creative outlets to give grief a form — as paintings, songs, poems, and dances. Here’s a video of what that looked like.

Guiding responsible work across cultures and faith traditions

Losstenders receive support from the Soloss team, including Hayley Sallis, Soloss Lead and Death Doula, with decades of experience as a mental health worker in Edmonton’s inner city. Our team has some great experience and know-how, but we also have blind spots and areas of inexperience! That’s why Losstenders are also supported by a Sounding Board. 


We’re looking for some fantastic people who come from different backgrounds, cultural traditions, and lived experiences, and who bring different kinds of expertise to the subjects of grief, loss, trauma, healing, and connection. We assemble a Sounding Board to expose Losstenders to different perspectives on healing, to support people to draw on their own traditional practices, and to ensure Losstenders understand relevant protocols and practices for respectful and meaningful cross-cultural interactions.

What's the role?

This year, we want to introduce a range of healing practices to boost and restore the wellbeing of those on whom so many others depend – the front-line workers of community-support organizations. Many of these frontline workers are Indigneous, People of Colour, immigrants or refugees, and have their own histories of loss and hardship. We want to do them justice.


So, we’re looking for six to ten Edmontonians to form the Sounding Board that guides Losstenders as they find ways to process grief and loss with frontline workers. We don’t want income level to be a barrier to participation: Sounding Board members can opt into an honorarium to compensate for their time at a rate of $50/hr. 

Each Sounding Board member will:


  • Attend 4 gatherings over three months to meet Losstenders and keep abreast of their needs as they go on to support 2-3 Sharers each
  • Decide how to make their best contribution, whether it be a group workshop, 1:1 prep or debriefing with Losstenders, supporting culturally or spiritually specific work, making introductions to helpful people & resources, etc.
  • Help the Soloss team to identify what we are learning through this prototype and what we should be asking and trying next.


Soloss is inclusive of many approaches to creative production and healing. We will hire five different flavours of the Losstender role, each with a different focus: on art, music, storytelling, and body/movement. Similarly, we welcome Sounding Board Members with a diversity of practices, beliefs, and traditions.


Well now, why would I want to do that?

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Apply theoretical learning in community
  • Make therapeutic practices more understood and accessible
  • Meet Edmontonians who bring really diverse skill sets and traditions to the topic of grief and loss
  • Translate your passion to diverse audiences
  • Start to shift popular cultural understandings and practices around grief
  • Make sure we don’t f%$! an opportunity to address an urgent and real need in our city
  • Learn more about design methods like co-design and prototyping
  • Be part of building something that isn’t just another system-driven, professional-led service.

Who is behind Soloss?

Our team is made up of researchers, social justice workers, designers, and storytellers (plus, a death doula!) who are delving into the question of how we can collectively find ways to make more space for grief and loss. Based on research with 60 street-involved Edmontonians and wellbeing philosophies from Eastern, Western, and Indigenous traditions, we’ve created Soloss. 

Soloss comes from a partnership between REACH Edmonton, social design organisation InWithForward, the City of Edmonton’s RECOVER Urban Wellness initiative, and now Bissell Centre and The Mustard Seed Edmonton. 


To learn more about us and the work: 

The application period is rolling but we expect to have a Sounding Board in place by September 12. We look forward to hearing from you!