Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN)

SPAN was formed in 1996, coincidentally at the same time TeenScreen’s public survey projects started. In May 2009, SPAN merged with AFSP and serves as a “public policy and advocacy division” for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP).[1]

  • Eli Lilly’s first quarter grant report for 2009 shows SPAN was gifted $25,000.[2]
  • Lilly’s 2008 grant report shows grants totaling $80,000.[3]
  • Lilly’s 2007 report shows $105,000.[4]
  • The 2006 Spring issue of SPAN’s “Network News” announced the “Friend for Life” sponsors. Forest and the industry’s trade group, PhRMA donated over $15,000. Pfizer gave between $10,000 and $14,999, Solvay between $6,000 and $9,999, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb donated between $2,000 and $5,999. Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Novartis each donated between $500 and $1,999.[5]
  • In the Summer 2005 Network News list includes Pfizer (over $10,000), Bristol-Meyers, Janssen, and Novartis (over $1,000 each) and Forest Labs (over $500.)[6]
  • Despite this nominally disclosed pharmaceutical funding, as of 2008 SPAN had provided $103.4 million in funding to 43 states, including 72 college and universities.[7]
  • A September 9, 2006 press release ran the headline: “SPAN USA Kicks Off National Suicide Prevention Week With Memorial March for Suicide Prevention” Among the sponsors who offered “generous support” for this event were Eli Lilly and Forest Pharmaceuticals.[8]
  • Three months later, SPAN advocated against the black box warnings on antidepressants, with a December 13, 2006 press release stating: “Leading Suicide Prevention Researcher Testifies against “Black Box” Notice for Antidepressants at FDA Hearing.”[9]