GAP Group, the UK’s largest independent equipment hire company, has launched an industry-first mental health and wellbeing platform to support its workforce.

The GAP Wellbeing Hub was developed in partnership with wellbeing tech specialist Frog Systems. The digital platform, which is free to access, is packed with videos, information and direct links to organisations that offer help and support. It is available to all 1800 GAP employees and their families across 146 locations in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The Glasgow-headquartered company says, like all businesses during the pandemic, staff have faced a variety of challenges and it wants to encourage wider and more open conversations around the benefits of positive mental health as the long-term effects of lockdown become clear.

Catriona Dunning, Head of HR, GAP Group, said: “Giving our employees every possible means of getting the help and support they need whenever and wherever they need it and being able to do this confidentially, at any time of the day or night, is crucial. Our new GAP Wellbeing Hub will do just that and we are delighted to be the first in our industry to offer this valuable benefit.”

It is recognised that the construction industry has particular issues surrounding mental health because of its high percentage of male employees who are less likely to speak out about their personal struggles. The GAP Wellbeing Hub is another step in addressing that. It will complement the existing wellbeing strategies used by the company, which include providing mental health awareness training for line managers and on-going support and promotion of the construction industry helpline provided by the charity Lighthouse Club.

Douglas Anderson, Joint Managing Director of GAP Group, said: “The mental wellbeing of our workforce is just as much a priority for us as their physical safety and wellbeing. We want to reduce the barriers that might have prevented them from speaking out in the past and encourage them to be proactive about seeking help if they need it. We see our GAP Wellbeing Hub as an important step in lessening the stigma that exists around mental health in our industry.”