There’s nothing like a holiday road trip. Of course instead of a travel map from the local motoring association, we now have the GPS. On the family’s most recent road trip over summer, an 1100-kilometre each-way trip to North Queensland, the GPS could tell us:

  • Our destination -- ever so politely we’re told "your route is being calculated" -- in fact the GPS doesn’t work as designed if no destination is entered
  • Exactly where we are starting from -- even 3D format
  • The estimated time it will take and where we should stop to "survive the drive"
  • They show us exits, other roads, points of interest, where we can get fuel, food and just about anything else the family needs
  • About traffic delays or congestion and suggest ways to bypass the problem
  • When we took a detour or a side trip, get us on track to our destination.

So when I got back from the summer holiday and heard that the Federal Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, had released for consultation a Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform, I thought great. Not another plan (to go with the four earlier five-year plans), not another policy or strategy or implementation plan, but a roadmap.

As I read and reread the Roadmap for National Mental Health Reform, the lyrics from a the Talking Heads classic (part of my road trip music selection) went round in my thoughts: We're on a Road to Nowhere.