I was pleased, and not at all surprised, to see calls for more action on mental health, rather than just talk.

The great test for this Government in its self-proclaimed year of delivery is to actually deliver. And I fear we're running out of time on that front, given it's July.

After the largest mental health inquiry in decades: 400 meetings, more than 5000 submissions, the rubber needs to start hitting the road.


The money's been allocated in the Budget, the talking's been done - let's get going.

But what are they doing?

Well, they're running a two-week 'roadshow'. Health Minister David Clark is going back to consult with non-governmental organisations to see how they should spend the money.

Ironically, Clark called this part "the rubber hitting the road". But the rubber hitting the road for me means actual dollars being spent on actual services, resources and people - not more chat.

Mental health experts are wary too.

The Drug Foundation's Ross Bell said "a lot of people in our sector feel like we've had a pretty strong say .. a lot of people would prefer getting things done.. than having more roadshows." He argues enough direction has already been given, to start dishing out some money now.

Another mental health service boss agreed with him that "action would be good" after "years of waiting". She made the point that every moment delayed has an impact on people's lives. And no one should be more aware of that, than this Government.

This is after all the Government that talked up mental health funding so much while in opposition, and has had two years now in power to do something about it.


The 'rubber hitting the road' should have moved well beyond the 'roadshow' stage by now.

National says it shows they have no plan. I'm sure they do have a plan - but that's just the problem: if the plan involves yet more talking and further delays on action then it's just not a very good plan.