Work Life Consultant, Powered by Encompass

Need a thought partner?

Whether it's work-life balance issues, stress or conflict in the workplace, childcare troubles or more, Gary can listen and help provide tools and resources for whatever you may be experiencing.

Schedule a time to meet with Gary

Meet Gary Atkins

Gary Atkins joined GVSU as the Work Life Consultant, powered by Encompass. Gary primarily works as an Employee Assistance Counselor with Encompass, GVSU's employee assistance program. He is available to meet with individuals virtually or in-person to discuss personal or professional issues impacting wellness, and provide support and resources. Gary is also available to assist in the conflict resolution process and provide departmental support.

Gary received his Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University, where he began to develop clinical skills suitable for working with children and families. Gary has experience working within various settings and has a diverse skill set pertaining to healthy transitions, managing depression, relationship concerns and understanding anxiety. Gary’s role at Encompass EAP, a subsidiary of AllOne Health, is an Employee Assistance Counselor and he has been with Encompass since 2019. At Encompass, Gary specializes in working with children and families. Gary works towards creating a collaborative relationship with clients providing education, support and creating a space for exploration while empowering clients to make meaningful and healthy changes in their lives. Although Gary works primarily as an Employee Assistance Counselor, he also conducts wellness presentations, staff trainings, on-site service requests and on-site critical incident service requests for client companies. He also conducts trainings and debriefings for client companies.

Gary Atkins

Additional Work-Life Resources

Work Life Blog

Home For the Holidays

As we approach the busy holiday months, it is important to remind ourselves to remain grounded and present minded. This year has continued to bring many changes, which often move us further away from our center point. Whether embracing loved ones or meal prepping, we must remember to take time for ourselves. One way to do this is to identify and effectively utilize our coping skills toolbox. Although figurative, this toolbox can prove to be beneficial when we find ourselves stressed and need to have a break from our current environment.  

Coping Skills Toolbox

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day can boost mood and reduce stress. Encompass resource: How to Make an Exercise Plan.
  • Build a social support system.
  • Set priorities. Identify what needs to be completed and what can wait. Saying no to a new task is helpful, especially if it is going to put you into overload. Encompass resource: Time Management and Stress Management Tool Kit.
  • Think positive. Encompass resource: Practicing Gratitude: Ways to Improve Positivity
  • Try relaxation methods. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are great places to start.
  • Seek help. Talk with a mental health professional if you feel you are unable to cope, are having any suicidal thoughts or use drugs or alcohol to cope, or to work through the tools mentioned above.

As always, remember that Encompass EAP is here to help. If you would like to meet with me this holiday season, please email me at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.

New to My Life Expert? Set up an account using the company code, GVSUNI. For additional assistance, learn how to make a My Life Expert account.

November 2, 2022

Mindfulness with Encompass

As the semester comes to an end, it is important to identify ways to take care of your yourself and reduce stress. While there are many ways to reduce stress, let’s talk about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the human ability to be fully present. This can look like being aware of our surroundings and what we are doing, and being able to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is happening around us.

Mindfulness can be practiced in a number of ways and environments:

  • While seated, standing, walking and/or other forms of movement
  • During short breaks or pauses that we build into our day
  • By merging yoga or sports with meditation practices

Through implementing mindfulness, you may begin to notice positive benefits at work, in your relationships, and in your overall health and happiness. For more tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your life and to learn about the benefits, check out these resources via My Life Expert:

New to My Life Expert? Set up an account using the company code, GVSUNI. For additional assistance, learn how to make a My Life Expert account with our step-by-step guide.

May 4, 2022

Featured: Responding to Distressed People Training

Responding to Distressed People video walk-through

We know that stress and emotions are running high. The Responding to Distressed People guide and video walk-through can help you navigate what to do if you notice a colleague in distress. 

A Responding to Distressed People training is offered each semester. If you would like to participate in the next session, please email Gary.

Page last modified February 2, 2023