Your month ahead – important upcoming dates for your calendar

On the calendar

1 February – Time to Talk Day

Mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness launched Time to Talk Day to encourage us all to talk more about mental health and harness the real benefits of chatting – something many of us can get behind! 

Freeing mental health problems from stigma is an important step in getting everyone the help they need, but it is only part of the answer. We know that many of your service users have profound mental health needs, and we provide specialist interpreters where those needs are compounded by communication barriers. 

Make your interactions count

How do you connect with a patient when you can’t talk directly to them? TLS will never assign you an interpreter without the specialist skills for this work, but there are a number of ways to make your meetings more effective and comfortable.

  • Ask your interpreter for a brief pre-meeting chat so you can share any relevant information, such as cultural norms around mental health. When the interpreter and provider work together as a team, the outcome is often improved for the patient. 
  • Never leave the interpreter alone with the service user. This is for their safety as well as to avoid any blurring of the boundaries in their role. 
  • Factor in some time for a debrief with the interpreter. As during a mental health appointment, it’s not just the words used but the way they are used that is important, a post-appointment debrief will give you both the chance to talk about how things were said, eg any peculiarities of speech.


In your diary

LGBT+ at Work Conference – Diversity and Inclusion Leaders (

Inclusion, Equity & Diversity – beyond box ticking. Tickets, Tue 6 Feb 2024 at 09:30 | Eventbrite


February’s dates at a glance


2 – Imbolc/Candlemas, Wicca and Pagan 

3 – Setsunbun-sai, Shinto

7 – Lailat al-Miraj, Islam

10 – Losar begins, Buddhist Lunar New Year Confucian, Daoist and Buddhist

13 – Shrove Tuesday, Christian

14 – Ash Wednesday (start of Lent), Christian Valentine’s Day, Christian Vasant Panchami, Hindu, Sikh and Jain

15 – Nirvana Day, Buddhist

18 – Zacchaeus Sunday, Orthodox Christian

22 – Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Catholic Christian

24 – Magha Puja, Buddhist

25 – Triodion begins, Orthodox Christian Lailat al Bara’ah, Islam

26-29 – Intercalary days, Baha’i

Awareness and events

1-29 LGBT+ History Month

1 – World Hijab Day

1 – Time To Talk Day

1-7 – World Interfaith Harmony Week

4 – World Cancer Day 

5-11 – UK Race Equality Week

5-11 – Children’s Mental Health Week

6 – International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation 

6 – Safer Internet Day 

11 – International Day of Women and Girls in Science 

12 – Red Hand Day for Child Soldiers

15 – International Childhood Cancer Day

17 – World Human Spirit Day 

20 – World Day of Social Justice