Until now, suicide prevention efforts have been limited in developing countries, although there are pockets of excellent achievement. Various universal, selective, and indicated interventions have been implemented, many of which target a different pattern of risk factors to those in developed countries. In the absence of sufficient mental health services, developing countries rely heavily on nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to provide crisis interventions for suicidal individuals, as well as proactive interventions aimed at raising community awareness and building resilience. Often these NGOs work within a social and public health framework, collaborating with others to provide nested suicide prevention programs that are responsive to local community needs. There is a clear need to develop appropriate, relevant and effective national suicide prevention plans in developing countries, since, to date, only Sri Lanka has done so. These plans should focus on a range of priority areas, specify the actions necessary to achieve positive change in these priority areas, consider the range of collaborators required to implement these actions, and structure their efforts at national, regional, and local levels. The plans should also promote the collection of accurate data on completed and attempted suicide, and should foster evaluation efforts.