Recent increases in suicide rates internationally have focused attention on suicide as an important area of public health concern. In this review, strategies developed by various countries to halt this trend are compared. Nine out of 15 countries respond to enquiry about the state of development of suicide prevention strategies and programmes. Comprehensive strategies have been or are being developed by Finland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden. The organization of these strategies differs between countries. The interventions have similar targets and are presented in detail There are some similarities in strategy content but evident differences in organization. Further developments should not only be based on research, but also consider the diverse experiences of other countries, and they should incorporate appropriate structures for monitoring and evaluation.