Suicide is a major health problem, showing an increasing tendency in many developed countries. In this synthetic review, having briefly described the possible risk factors of suicide, those recent strategies that have been proved to be effective methods of reducing the suicide rate are summarised. Psychiatric illness, first of all the affective disorders (particularly in the case of a previous suicide attempt), are the most powerful predictors of this manner of death. Early recognition and appropriate treatment of affective and other psychiatric disorders, as well as aftercare of persons with a high suicidal risk are, consequently, the most successful methods of preventing suicide. Training health-care workers in order to increase their knowledge on the means of suicide prevention and educating patients so as to improve their compliance is highly beneficial. Since health care professionals can help only those patients who contact them, public education on the symptoms, dangers and the treatable nature of depression, other psychiatric illnesses and psychological crises becomes also very important.