Taveta’s psy­chi­atric ex­pe­ri­ence helps him pro­duce a book of po­ems

Fiji Sun - - Suncity - MERE SATAKALA Edited by Maraia Vula Feedback: mere.satakala@fi­jisun.com.fj

Pub­lish­ing his first po­etry col­lec­tion after 20 years of writ­ing is a ma­jor re­lief for Luke Taveta. The 53-year-old was lost for words when his work­mates from the Psy­chi­atric Sur­vivors As­so­ci­a­tion (PSA) sur­prised him with his own pub­li­ca­tion yes­ter­day. A psy­chi­atric sur­vivor, Mr Taveta had a ner­vous break­down when he was 21 while he was a mem­ber of the army of­fi­cer’s cadet corps with the Re­pub­lic Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces in 1985.

“I just got tired men­tally and phys­i­cally and just fell apart at this stage of my life,” said Mr Taveta.

He got ad­mit­ted at the St Giles Hospi­tal where he found so­lace in his writ­ing that be­came a ther­apy for him to sur­vive dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. The hum­ble Ono-i-Lau man a co­founder of PSA, in 2004 at­tributes his wil­i­ness to fight through his men­tal ill­ness through the sup­port of his fam­ily, friends and his PSA fam­ily.

“The be­lief in life, the legacy of a fight­ing spirit and my be­lief in God has kept me go­ing all th­ese years,” he said. John Brookes, a com­mu­ni­ca­tion vol­un­teer from Aus­tralia, helped Luke with his po­etry pub­li­ca­tion said he was just blown away by his writ­ing. The first time they met was four months ago. “One morn­ing I just got talk­ing to him and he told me about his time in the army, his fam­ily back­ground and was very vo­cal about his men­tal ill­ness jour­ney,” Mr Brookes said.

Four months later, the pub­li­ca­tion has be­come a real­ity, with a col­lec­tion of some of Mr Taveta’s favourite pieces mostly fo­cused on ex­pe­ri­ences he had gone through. “I want peo­ple to read my po­ems and be able to iden­tify with it and give hope that there is light at the end of the tun­nel and to break the stigma in our so­ci­ety,” he said. In 2015, Mr Taveta went through an­other life-threat­en­ing or­deal where he nearly died but his faith in God pulled him through. “I’m just so happy his dream of pub­lish­ing his book has be­come a real­ity, as his sis­ter I’m just so proud of him,” said an emo­tional Kel­era Taveta.

The book ti­tled Creative Ex­pres­sions is avail­able now on www.ama­zon.co.uk and search for Luke But­ler Taveta.

Photo: Mere Satakala

Luke Taveta.

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