A stacking rings activity to stimulate conversation around risk & resilience.
Our stacking rings activity was inspired by Dr Jehannine Austin's jar analogy.
We are born with a certain amount of genetic vulnerability (yellow balls), but over time, we also accumulate stressful experiences (orange triangles), which can tip us over into an active episode of mental ill-health (full jar).
Protective factors such as exercise and good sleep add 'rings' to the top of our mental health jar, and expand its capacity.
For a family science festival audience, we adapted this analogy into a stacking rings activity.
We use this activity to initiate conversations about mental health and resilience.
The stick represents a 'person'.
Each roll of the dice adds a 'risk factor' (genetic, environmental or lifestyle).
Some of the rings are thick (high risk), others are thin (low risk)
Sometimes you do not add a ring at all.
If the top of the stack goes above the red line, the 'person' has become unwell.
However, if you role a resilience factor such as meditation or social connections, you can move the red line (band) up the stick.
Much of our research is focused around gaining a better understanding of how these factors interact.
This activity was delivered at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April 2019.
It will also be delivered at:
Doors Open Day at Edinburgh MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) on 28th September 2019
Midlothian Science Festival, Feel Good Science Day on 13th October 2019