Beyond Blue Chairman and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has labelled James Hird’s “intentional poisoning overdose” as a cry for help.
Hird, former Essendon coach, was rushed to hospital on Wedndesday night via ambulance after overdosing on an unknown substance.
He is reportedly recovering in a mental health facility.
Kennett, a former Hawthorn chief, said the two-time AFL Premiership winner's actions were extremely troubling.
"This is a cry for help by an individual and I hope that he will get that help," Kennett told SEN.
"Quite clearly we don't know the circumstances, but when a young person — male or female — attempts to take their life, particularly with drugs, it is a cry for help.
"Without knowing the circumstances, this individual is a young man, (with a) family, obviously he has got circumstances he wishes to deal with, but you've heard me say so many times before, the greatest gift we have is the gift of life. Regardless of the circumstances with which we are facing ... life is by far the better option."
Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.