The announcement of Manitoba's first-ever cabinet position for mental health is being applauded by mental health advocates.

On Monday, Premier Brian Pallister announced MLA Audrey Gordon would be the Minister of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery. This is the first position of its kind in the province.

The Canadian Mental Health Association in Manitoba (CMHA) says they are applauding Pallister for the move.

“Having a dedicated Minister of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery can help us be ready for the echo pandemic of mental health issues that are expected to persist over the months to follow,” Marion Cooper, CMHA’s Chief Executive Officer says in a statement.

The Executive Director says that this new position is welcomed as they prepare to help Manitobans face the after-effects of COVID-19 such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse.

“You can count on CMHA to support the goal of providing access to mental health and addiction care and treatment that improve life outcomes for Manitobans in their journey towards recovery and well-being."

CMHA says they are excited to work with Gordon in her new role.

On Facebook, Gordon says she is "humbled and honoured" to be appointed. The Minister will be working closely with Minister Heather Stefanson, the new Minister of Health in her future work.