A Pacific anthropologist from New Zealand has begun research into mental health in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau.
Associate Professor Jacqui Leckie from Wellington's Victoria University was named the 2018 JD Stout Fellow by the Stout Research Centre.
The research is called Mental Notes: Illness and Wellness in New Zealand's former Pacific territories.
Professor Leckie is to look at the complexity of indigenous Pacific cultures and how New Zealand colonial health practices were applied to them.
"What we're really looking at are some of the hidden and shameful areas that face our cultures today, so it is looking at suffering, but it's also a story of support and survival," she said.
"What I'm trying to do is look at the past to try and get some light into these serious issues that affect Pacific communities today."