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Equal-Life distinguishes mental illness and wellbeing.


Mental illness includes:

  • internalising disorders such as depression and anxiety,

  • externalising behaviour/symptoms and disorders like ADHD, disruptive behaviour

  • thought disorders, for example, autism, and psychotic disease.  

Some of these are recognised as diagnosed diseases.


Diagnosed: examined by a medical doctor

Externalising: directed outward

Internalising: directed inward


Well-being comprises emotional, psychological, social, hedonic, eudaemonic (state of happiness, health and prosperity)  well-being and quality of life. 


Cognition refers to “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.”. The cognitive functions studied in Equal-Life are executive functions, memory (long-term, episodic), oral and written language functions, and school and academic achievement outcomes.


These outcomes will be studied at different ages and settings (at home, day-care, school) It has been shown that multiple factors contribute to and influence mental health. In Equal-Life we will investigate to what extent and how early exposure to favourable and unfavourable physical and social factors, contribute to mental good health later on in life. 

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