Recovery Cup Board Game for Families

The Recovery Cup is an educational game created to help families of persons with psychosis and the person with psychosis.

By playing the game, the ill person and their family learn useful strategies to help the ill person recover and the family cope well. The game is suitable for adults and children old enough to read (or younger with adult supervision). The game is designed to be played cooperatively and is played till everyone wins.

The cup is a metaphor for the two types of vulnerability to psychosis a person can have and how they work together. illustrates the concept of genetic versus environmental vulnerability to psychosis, and how to manage environmental vulnerability.

The Cup is also a cup of achievement, as in a trophy won when the family is working together for everyone’s well being.

There are two versions of this game. One version has first nations specific imagery (basket and canoe) and the other is non-specific and has coffee cup and trophy imagery. The card wording is identical for each version.

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All the print materials needed to create and assemble your own copy of the game are available below.

Game board

print one of these files to use as your game board, depending on which suits your printer. More detailed instructions are on the ‘instructions for assembling game’ document, above.

RecoveryCupBoardImageFirst Nations Imagery (basket and canoe) Version

recoverycupgameboardbigCoffee cup and Trophy Version 

Game Card Files

There are two sets of cards. Both are needed to play the game and all players use both types of cards.

Game cards 1: Vulnerability Cards print double-sided on letter sized ‘tear-apart’ business card paper or regular paper and cut apart. The first page is for the back of all of the card pages, and the succeeding pages are different for each page of cards.

Game cards 2: Caring Cards – print double-sided on letter sized ‘tear-apart’ business card paper or regular paper and cut apart. (different colour from first set would be helpful to keep the two packs separate). The first page is for the back of all of the card pages, and the succeeding pages are different for each page of cards.

Game Rules and Instructions

  1. The game board is unrolled an laid on a table, taping it down if needed to keep it flat.
  2. The two packs of cards should be placed near the board, ready for play.
  3. Every player gets a cup and a game marker. The game marker is placed on the board where it says ‘Start’.
  4. There should be a lot of game pieces of one colour (e.g.: green), and a few of another (e.g.: blue). The blue pieces represent genetic vulnerability to mental illness, the things a person is born with which makes them more likely to experience illness. The other pieces represent the ‘environmental factors’, which are things that happen during a person’s life, or things they do, that may trigger psychotic symptoms.
  5. Each player in turn rolls the dice. The number rolled is the number of blue genetic vulnerability pieces that get put in that person’s cup. The rest of the cup gets filled to the top with the other colour of pieces.A full cup means that person has active psychosis symptoms – delusions, hallucinations and paranoia.  Psychosis is a set of symptoms that are part of several mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. All players start out with a full cup.
  6. The person who rolled the highest starts the game first, by rolling the dice again and moving their game marker along the board. They may go forward or backwards or follow any branch of the board they wish, as long as they only go one direction within a turn. This means that you can go forward or backward, but only forward or only backward in a single turn.
  7. When a player lands on a space that has a picture on it, they pick up and read aloud a card from the matching deck and do what it says. Then their turn is over.
  8. The game is won when every player’s cup is less than half full.

Permission is granted to make as many copies as required of this document for non-profit educational purposes. This game was created by art therapist Sophia Kelly, DVATI for the BC Schizophrenia Society © 2006 BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information, and updated in 2016. Funding for this project was provided by the BC Provincial Health Services Authority.    This game is not suitable for children under 6 as game pieces may be a choking hazard.

This game is not suitable for children under 6 as game pieces may be a choking hazard.



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