This year, World Mental Health Day is furthering the general message that those not in work are not worthy of a mere thought. This years theme is mentals in the workplace. Rachel and I would like to take this serendipitous opportunity to launch our eagerly awaited ‘I’m not a dick’ award scheme for employers.
The scheme could be likened to the kite mark denoting certified safety and quality products. Employers achieving the ‘I’m not a dick’ award will have been rigorously tested for their attitudes, skills and practices for working with the mental in the workplace.
‘If your workplace sees basic management skills as an ‘adjustment’ (reasonable or otherwise) then the problem is not your mental health’
Rachel Rowan Olive
There are three stages to the award: Standard, Silver and Gold. Each stage requires that managers and staff members undertake a number of pledges to make the workplace more hospitable for the mental. Upon completion of each stage your workplace will receive a signed ‘I’m not a dick’ certificate and display frame. You will be eligible to purchase t-shirts and badges in the appropriate colour denoting your new status. As a registered holder of ‘I’m not a dick’ status you will be able to display our mark of quality on your merchandise and publicity.
Standard ‘I’m not a dick’ award
To achieve Standard certification the following pledges must be undertaken and acted on:
- I pledge to acknowledge that risk assessments include emotional and psychological needs.
- I pledge to acknowledge that, as a human, your output will probably not be exactly the same from day to day or hour to hour.
- I pledge not to ask stupid questions about your scars.
- I pledge to acknowledge that just not asking is not the same as accepting, and that being nice in meetings without actions helps no one.
- I pledge not to attribute every disagreement to your mental health problems.
- I pledge not to give you so much work you would need a time turner to do it all and then suggest you have an anxiety disorder.
- I pledge not to be totally fine with the way you do something one week and then lose my shit over it the next.
- I pledge to pay you a living wage even if you are not white or a man.
- I pledge that ‘Get Well Soon’ cards and gifts will also be available for mentals.
- I pledge not to pretend you are self employed just to save money and paperwork.
Silver ‘I’m not a dick’ award
To achieve Silver certification you must already have Standard status, plus the following pledges must be undertaken and acted on:
- I pledge to understand my privilege as a person with income and condemn the skivers vs. strivers rhetoric.
- I pledge not to complain about management when we’re alone then utterly fail to back you up when you need me to stand up to them.
- I pledge not to tell you we consider you an insurance risk so someone’s going to double check all your work from now on.
- I pledge not to treat you like damaged goods because of your mental health whilst simultaneously taking part in mental health awareness PR campaigns as a business.
- I pledge that anyone saying ‘we all have mental health’ will be sacked.
Gold ‘I’m not a dick’ award
To achieve Gold certification you must already have Standard and Enhanced status, plus the following pledges must be undertaken and acted on:
- I pledge to challenge all structural inequality within the workplace, including that which I am contributing to and benefitting from.
- I pledge that Mentals are to have exclusive access to the newly installed puppy room.
- I pledge that I am now fully aware that as a professional who joined this scheme I’m probably a dick with absolutely no self-awareness of how crap I am.
Images by Rachel Rowan Olive. Words by Ria Dylan and Rachel Rowan Olive. With thanks to @doricgirl, @DissidentGirl and @m4delen for their fabulous contribution to the pledges