Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondThe waiting room fidget, though, also became familiar to your neighbourhood engineer last month. He passed you while still holding on to it as he drained the copper brews radiators in your local doctor's lounge. Ironically, by the time he had finished draining them, he could no longer keep his hand to steady. His brew kept slipping from overspill, as if it could not stop being full. During the following week, at a boiler check-up, he could officially recite the origins of his nervous twitch back to the full-time receptionist, who suggested that the culprit who had been keeping his sleep at hostage point was called anxiety.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsI keep my own twitch in my shoes, sometimes by 10 PM turning into dancing laces, whilst I ride a tin can machine home along train tracks, kind of a metallic harmony that narrates a rising heart rate into crescendo when put under stress. In between strings, I wonder if whoever labelled my current brand of beta blockers could also chuckle at the coincidence of the recommended dosage being the same as their own backpack packet medication, prescribed to use before physical symptoms of a panic attack take over. Seemingly, these are reasonable instructions, given as a manual inside a horizontally labelled cardboard box before sending to pharmacy.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsOur brief connection, contained within 3D dimensions and caught sometimes by strangers before they leave us at the train station, strangers that tip their heads to several outreach billboard posters as they leave the station, deciding whether to fit their own version of a waiting room into their bedroom, mobile phone, or e-mail account. Possibly where mind also encouraged you to reach out to good Samaritan and converge, if you wanted to speak that is. You may have sign posted your message to an electronic post box, digital form of a carrier pigeon, who you knew to attach your message to on the right leg.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 secondsOnce one of your friends could translate the poster's language into one that shared a tongue with the grey matters inside of your head, a mate, who on Mondays played Rubik's cube and connect the dots with higher roots for her counsellor's appointment. Together, they filled in a crossword puzzle, spelling out their co-created linguistics so that they could better discuss her vertical hanging descriptions of her day to day activities, a collaboratively formed use of speech that could charter her mental health into new waters, rather than using graphs and numbers.

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 secondsAs she equated new ires along the logic of her cognitive journey, she wondered out loud at the difference between neuroscientists and psychotherapy, even though upon closer examination these would be regarding the same level of anatomy. Perhaps you and I are actually only waiting room chairs apart. I'm not sure exactly where you are in relation to the marrow bones that you've been leaning on and how you've been shapeshifting, changing along the supply chain of your mental health care services. But if you've got time, I'd like to ask, is the chair next to you free? If so, I'll be right with you. Thanks so much for watching the video. I really hope you enjoyed it.

Skip to 3 minutes and 34 secondsIf you did, please consider liking it or sharing the video and subscribing to my channel. This video is just one in a series of five poems written about supply chains to try and educate and inspire people to notice and act on the supply chains that surround their lives. The project as a whole is called My Chain Reaction, and you can find out more about it at mychainreaction.co.uk. Crucially, that's also where you can submit your own stories about supply chains and read other people's. Educate yourselves, and have a bit of fun whilst doing it. Check out the other poems, and have a great day.

Beyond physical products: The diverse nature of supply chains

Where do you keep your twitch?

From beta blockers to digital carrier pigeons. Samaritans to counsellors with cross-word puzzles. Neuroscientists to psychotherapists.

Jess, from Pangaea Poetry, explores the supply chain for mental health services through her poem Twitch.

Supply chains are not just for physical products though, as her poem identifies, there is a physical supply chain for the medicines we receive. In the UK pharmaceutical supply chains have to meet a 24-hour target to get over 21,000 different types of medicine to patients across the British Isles. However, Beta-Blockers are but one small part of a mental health supply chain. Jess uncovers both the formal and informal support networks that exist. Whether it is a planned trip through the waiting room to see a general practitioner (GP), counsellor or psychotherapist. Or the informal gathering of a support group physically or virtually. There is a service supply chain behind all these activities.

The supply chains for services are often even more invisible to us than for physical products. We can get frustrated when a full bus passes us by or when we have to wait for an appointment to see a doctor without thinking about the chain of activities that leads to the provision of that service. These activities also have to balance demand and supply. For resource constrained public services this can be particularly difficult particularly at peak periods.

Supply chains truly are everywhere.

Talking Point

  • What is the most unusual supply chain that you can think of?
  • How well does it balance demand and supply?

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This video is from the free online course:

Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

The University of Warwick