GAP Group, the UK’s largest independent equipment hire company, has launched the industry’s first mental health and wellbeing platform.

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. 

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 1,800 GAP employees and their families across 146 locations in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

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.”

The GAP Wellbeing Hub contains bite-sized videos of people sharing their experiences and advice across a range of issues. Users search by topic from a drop-down menu, watch relevant videos and type in their postcode or location to be directed to the nearest support. The Hub also includes the company’s existing wellbeing resources as well as links to carefully curated external information and organisations that offer help.  The anonymised data produced will give GAP Group insight into the issues its employees face, helping to improve decision-making around the provision of support.

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 its on-going support and promotion of the construction industry helpline provided by the charity Lighthouse Club.

The software behind the GAP Wellbeing Hub was developed by Frog Systems and is being used by organisations and businesses in many different sectors of the economy to address the surge in mental health problems that have arisen during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Phil Worms, CEO of Frog Systems, commented: “It has never been more important for employers to take care of the mental as well as physical wellbeing of the people who work for them. We are proud to have built a platform that helps GAP Group deliver this vital support.”