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Mental Health

Make Your Own Recovery Cup Game

  English PDF | More Psychosis Resources

Author: BC Schizophrenia Society


  1. Get the game board pdf file printed poster-sized and laminated at a copy shop. Typical cost for this is $7 / square foot including laminating. Expect to pay about $20 for the game board (2006 prices). Alternatively, you could print it on four sheets of letter-sized paper and then tape them together and laminate them.

  • Purchase or find a pair of dice (aprox 25 cents each at a toy store).

  • Purchase some cups which hold about 200mL of fluid. The cups used in the prototype game were rainbow-coloured plastic children's cups from Ikea for aprox $0.89 per set of 6 (2006 prices). A less expensive version would be six plastic disposable cups marked on the side with stickers or indelible pen so you can tell them apart. Write or scratch a mark halfway up the side of each cup.

  • Purchase enough game pieces to fill all six cups—suitable sized items are about the size of a marble. The pieces used in the prototype games were flattened glass blobs of the type used to arrange flowers in vases. Very large dried beans of two varieties may also work, or pebbles and marbles. You will need mostly one colour and aprox 70 pieces of the second colour.

  • Obtain 6 game markers of different colours for individual players. Each marker should have a base diameter of no more than 3/4 inch. The prototype game used small rainbow-coloured wooden blocks purchased at a dollar store (so the cups and blocks could be the same colour for each player).

  • Purchase some pre-perforated laser printer business card stock, ideally in two separate colours for the two types of cards. Print the 'caring cards' (the ones with the cups and hearts on them) on one colour, and the 'recovery cards' (the ones with the trophy cup on them) on another colour. The text goes on one side of the sheet, then the page is put into the printer again to print the picture part on the other side of the sheet. Once the sheet is printed on both sides, separate the cards along the perforations and bundle them in two packs, secured with an elastic band.

  • Print off the game instructions to include in the package as well.

  • Package the game in a 3" by at least 25" long art tube (like a mailing tube, available at an artist supply store) to hold all the materials. A 3" mailing tube was too narrow for the Ikea cups, but with smaller diameter cups a standard 3" mailing tube, which are a little cheaper and more available, would work. The game board and instructions are rolled up and inserted first, followed by the game pieces, then the cups, dice, markers and cards.

  • You now have a copy of the game. Permission is granted to make as many copies as required of the materials for non-profit educational purposes.


    About the author

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    The BC Schizophrenia Society helps individuals and families find their way in the mental health system. They also provide regional programs and services to help people with serious mental illnesses and their families. For more, visit or call 1-888-888-0029.


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