Hotel Mira’s Charlie Kerr Takes His Battle with Mental Illness to the Stage in Support of the B.C. Schizophrenia Society
VANCOUVER, May 23, 2019 – Charlie Kerr and his band, Hotel Mira (https://www.hotelmiramusic.com/), will headline Re-Mind: An Evening of Art, Music, & Readings, a free all ages party taking place at Beaumont Studios in Vancouver on Friday, May 24th from 7 pm to 11 pm to mark National Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day. National Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day, a day devoted to raising awareness about psychosis, schizophrenia and other persistent mental illnesses.
Hosted by the B.C. Schizophrenia Society, Re-Mind celebrates the contributions of artists with serious mental illness through an evening of art, music, food, and drinks. Now in its third year, this event was created to challenge the stigma that is attached to those living with schizophrenia, psychosis and other serious mental illness, one that paints this serious disease only in strokes of violence and despair. Re-Mind offers attendees another perspective and serves to remind us to readjust our views about what it means to have serious mental illness.
Advocating for mental illness support services strikes a personal chord with Kerr. The Vancouver musician lives with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and has experienced a few short but frightening bouts of psychosis. Psychosis has been linked to a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders (including BPD), and PTSD, just to name a few.
“I thought everyone went through the same amount of pain, but I was just way worse at [dealing with] it, and I felt like I couldn’t make it through” says Kerr about life before his diagnosis at 22. Now 28, Kerr counts himself lucky when he looks back the way mental health services helped him regain control over his life.
Kerr also credits music for helping him get to where he is today in a big way. “Throughout it all,” remembers Kerr, “music gave me purpose. It really…saved my life.”
“We’re excited to have Charlie, Erin (Emiru), and the many other artists join us to mark this year’s National Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day,” says Andrew Stewart, interim executive director. “We built this day to help families and individuals gain hope that through proper disease management strategies, people living with serious mental illness can make a positive change in people’s lives.”
The rewards of playing music have come back tenfold for Kerr. “It’s really fantastic when I hear from Hotel Mira fans that our lyrics help them when they’re facing similar things to what I’ve gone through,” he says shyly. “I was a Metis kid who never saw anyone else like me on MTV, and now I feel so lucky to be able to connect in a meaningful way with listeners from all over Canada and the world.”
Kerr will be playing two sets at Re-Mind, one set of intimate acoustic songs touching on topics relating to mental health earlier in the evening, followed by a raucous, theatrical and high energy performance alongside the rest of Hotel Mira.
Between sets, Erin Emiru, author of “When Quietness Came: A Neuroscientist’s Journey with Schizophrenia” and winner of the 2019 Courage to Come Back awards will be doing a short reading from her book, and taking questions from the audience. The evening will also feature an art display by artists with lived experience of serious mental illness, select pieces will be available for purchase. This event is generously sponsored by the Otsuka-Lundbeck Alliance.
Re-Mind is happening May 24th from 7 pm to 11 pm. The show is an all-ages show and admission is free, but space is limited. Donations are encouraged and accepted at the door. There will be some food available for free on-site and drinks for sale. To find out more and reserve your spot today, please visit www.bcss.org/re-mind.
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by families and friends of people with schizophrenia. Since then, BCSS has grown into a province-wide family support system. BCSS is dedicated to supporting families and helping families support each other, educating the public, raising funds for research and advocating for better services for people with schizophrenia and other serious and persistent mental illness. For more information, visit www.bcss.org.
For further information: Media Contact: Jean Fong, Marketing and Communications Manager, B.C. Schizophrenia Society, firstname.lastname@example.org | 604-754-2919