My Mind’s Eye Photography

Please note the first course is now full and we are currently not accepting any more applications. Details of future courses will be published here in due course.

We are delighted to announce a new programme My Mind’s Eye, a mindful photography group, beginning in January 2021.

Paul Sanders will be leading a course of mindful photography sessions designed to help participants reconnect with the world through photography. Group members will be encouraged to focus on being in the moment and engaging with their own surroundings. From 2004-2011 Paul was picture editor of The Times, after suffering depression, stress and anxiety he left to become a freelance landscape photographer and is now passionate about the benefit of photography to mental health and wellness.

‘Having been a photographer all of my working life, mainly in newspapers working for Reuters and The Times in London, I have found photography to be my place of solace in difficult times. I suffered a breakdown in 2011 and again in 2012, mostly due to workplace stress and not being able to cope with a marriage break up at the same time. Like most men of a certain age I struggle to talk about my inner feelings which didn’t help with the recovery process of dealing with depression, anxiety and the stigma attached with having mental health problems. However my therapist embraced my photography as she could see a form of visual expression within my images that enabled me to open up about my difficulties and the challenges I was facing.

 

In recent years I have been running workshops using mindfulness techniques to help people connect how they feel with a visual image. Just by noticing the things around you and their unique beauty allows you to pause in your daily life, taking time for yourself and empowering you with choice.

 

I’m very excited to be partnering with West Kent Mind as I’m passionate about the power photography has to help people overcome anxiety and to positively adjust their outlook on life.’

Leading the sessions alongside Paul is West Kent Mind trustee Steve Sunnucks. Last year Steve had a severe episode of depression and anxiety, leaving him hospitalised. It was the start of a long journey, and having tried Art Therapy when he finally returned home he looked for a creative outlet. He met Paul and they have joined together to create these workshops to help people improve the quality of their life, try something new, meet others and regain some confidence.

What’s Involved?

The first programme will run 6 sessions over 12 weeks, beginning on Zoom on Tuesday 19th January from 10am-12noon, then at the same time on 2nd February, 16th February, 2nd March, 16th March and 30th March. The sessions will be a mix of online and, if guidelines allow, in person workshops. No previous photography experience or specialist equipment is required, and West Kent Mind staff will be supporting the group throughout their journey. The sessions are fun and accessible to all, aimed at working to the strengths of the individual. The group is open to any adult living or working in West Kent who feels it would positively impact on their mental health.

Apply Here

Please note the first course is now full and we are currently not accepting any more applications.

To apply to be part of the photography group please complete the online Community Wellbeing Referral Form. If you are offered a place, someone from the West Kent Mind team will be in touch with you in the new year to confirm the details.

Wellbeing referral form

Paul’s Work

Below you can see a small selection of Paul’s beautiful images – do visit his website Discover Still to view more stunning photographs.