Introducing the ‘I’m not a dick’ Employers’ Award Scheme by Ria Dylan and Rachel Rowan Olive

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




  • reply RubTheRightsNoseInDiversityWhoWasResponsible ,

    Let the DWP and Tory Corporate-Fascist arseholes have their beloved FREE MARKET decide whether someone is employable or not! Then pay them £200 per week if they are not, levied from corporate taxation. Soon employers will be box-ticking and finding fake jobs for the mentally-vulnerable… and then they might just find out that they have some economic benefit and ability to work, after all! But, hey, the stolen-land-in-1066-then-handed-out-to-landed-gentry-by-inheritance beneficiary, ex-Chancellor Gideon ‘ George ‘ Osbourne, who’s never been on the free job market in his life (cronyism = ALL of his CV)… said we should compete with the Chinese.
    For what? Human rights abuse?
    Now WHO wanted Brexit and WHY?
    (Human Rights EU laws removal and inability to block TTIP and the like is why).
    Isn’t it strange that they seem to be working on removing the Human Rights Act even though they cannot even get a deal with the EU on post-Brexit trade?
    It’s a Coup. This is it’s mid-to-later stages. Wake up.
    Sorry, preaching to the converted, please prepare to do WHATEVER it takes to fight back.
    They only listen to “might-is-right”; they’re TORIES, remember? Let them see what that mentality will mean for THEM and THEIRS.
    If Britain hasn’t had the guts and balls to challenge corruption, COMPLETELY bred out of it already by New Labour’s P.C. crusade.
    Yes, if that were part of the same long-term strategy, then New Labour and current Neoliberals and Tories WERE ALL PART OF THE SAME LONG CON ON THE BRITISH PEOPLE.
    Divide and conquer is in effect. Wake up!
    WHO is doing it? – THAT is the question. One that P.C.-slaves will NOT be able to answer. That’s what the (mental) shackles of your slavery were originally put there for in the first place, get it?! To confuse you into not knowing your enemy when you see him (her)!
    “Arbeit macht frei”, right?
    Think about who… follow the money. Follow the foreign policy beneficiaries. Follow the power-centralisation and the demographics disproportionately-responsible. Draw the HONEST lines between cause-and-effect. See if any patterns emerge, especially ones that show conspicuous absence of on-the-record logic that matches actual behaviour and empirical (factual) reality.
    See the picture for what it is. THAT is the price of realism. And Realism is the cost of knowing your enemy. The cost of taking the first step to self-defence and beating your enemy’s attack. The attack IS happening, can we not agree?
    Political Correctness is the enemy of realism. Stop ALL lying, and put feelings of fear and unproductive superficial offence aside. There’s a war going on; stay safe, but it’s time to prioritise and choose what risks and gains we will attempt in our fight.
    Wake up!

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