The Province of Manitoba will recognize post-traumatic stress disorder as a work-related disease starting Jan. 1.

It's the first time that PTSD has been included as an occupational disease by a Workers Compensation Board in Canada.

"When a worker who has experienced a traumatic event on the job is diagnosed with PTSD, the Workers Compensation Board will presume his or her condition was caused by the job, making it much easier to access supports, treatment and compensation," Premier Greg Selinger said in a release.

The new bill extends coverage and benefits to all workers who are eligible for workers compensation in Manitoba and who are diagnosed with PTSD by medical professional.

"This is compassionate, humane but smart legislation," said Selinger. "It helps people suffering from PTSD -- no matter what area of work they are in."

Selinger said many people working in the province's public service experience extreme stress, and the legislation will help get them support more quickly.

"It is a well-established fact that PTSD is an illness that worsens over time if left untreated," said Michelle Gawronsky, the president of the Manitoba Government Employees Union -- the province's largest union.