Michael Harding is a former infantryman of the Royal Australian Regiment. After serving in Afghanistan for 8 months in 2010 and witnessing the death of his mate during an extended contact with highly trained Taliban insurgents, he returned home with a diagnosis of Conversion Disorder, a physical manifestation of trauma, and Post Traumatic Stress. The two and a half years following his return were a blur of prescription medications, alcohol abuse, depression, reliving his trauma for the sake of exposure therapy and navigating the frustrating system that is the Department of Veterans Affairs. There were plenty of ups & downs but with the unwavering support of his partner and family he was inspired to find new ways to approach mental health and post traumatic stress.
I am continually learning how to live a happier, more positive life that fits with who “I” want to be. Experiencing an extreme and ugly side of reality has given me a unique perspective for viewing life. It has been challenging, though I have now made it a positive one.
Michael is an expert on cannabis, passionate advocate for Veterans access to medicinal cannabis for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress and supporter of the Weed For Warriors Project. He enjoys spending his time volunteering with Ex-Service Organisations, mentoring fellow veterans through Trojan’s Trek, a peer mentor program and maintaining his overall health & wellbeing through a variety of alternate therapies.