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The Suicide of Campbell Saunders

"I'm tired... I just want to go to sleep and never wake up."
— Campbell to Alli.

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Information
Full Name Campbell Saunders
Gender Male
Date of Birth 1996
Date of Death April 2012
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Brown
Network
Family Justin Saunders (Brother)
Unnamed Mother
Unnamed Sister
Unnamed Brother
Unnamed Father
Relationships Maya Matlin (Ex-Girlfriend)
School(s) Degrassi Community School
Affiliation(s) Toronto Ice Hounds
Production
First Episode Come As You Are (1) (1201)
Last Episode Bitter Sweet Symphony (1) (1231)
Reason Committed suicide
Portrayed By Dylan Everett
Campbell Saunders committed suicide in April 2012 at Degrassi Community School in Degrassi's Greenhouse. Prior to his death, Cam was depressed, lonely, had a mental illness, and had a conflict with Zig Novak who was tryning to steal his girlfriend. After he died, the whole school mourned some didn't know who to feel, even people how never really knew him were sad.  

Prior To Cam's Death

Campbell Hocky Pic
Cam was came from Kapuskasing, Ontario, born in 1996 he came to Toronto and transferred to Degrassi so he could play hockey. At the time of his death, Cam was a grade 10 at Degrassi and a player for the Ice Hounds he was known as a Hockey star already drafted to the NHL at the age of 15. Like his Junior Hockey teammates, Campbell was athletic. Unlike his teammates, Cam was gentle, shy, and sweet. He got along with almost anyone, but was romantically awkward. Not too good at holding grudges, he believed in giving others second chances. He tried to be himself at all times, but it was difficult since everyone counted on him to be a perfect image, when he just really wanted to fit in. But whatever confidence he lacked in social settings, he more than made up for it on the ice with his dominating skills. He was friends with Tristan MilliganTori SantamariaMike Dallas, and Alli Bhandari, and was in a relationship with Maya Matlin for the majority of his of season 12. He eventually became enemies with Zig Novak. He committed suicide in Bitter Sweet Symphony (1) due to stress/anxiety issues, loneliness, depression, and an apparent psychological disorder of some sort. 

Things Leading To Cam's Suicide

There were a lot of signs Cam was going down the path of killing himself such as Cam cutting himself, jumped off the railing and broke his arm at school, his lost of love for Hockey, depression, stress/anxiety issues, loneliness, mood changes such as him being ok one moment to losing it the next moment, and his mental illness.


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Campbell with his headphones.

In Rusty Cage (1), the hockey team isn't letting him forget that his past few games haven't gone well, but he feels like he's in the zone. In their newest match, the Ice Hounds are close to winning, but he tries to finish the game on his own and ends up letting the other team win. The next day, he talks in class with Maya, Tori, and Tristan who all think that Campbell needs a break from hockey and invite him to karaoke night at Little Miss Steaks, but he has practice and can't miss it. He is later seen Skyping with his mom and tells her that he's homesick and feeling badly about hockey. He can't seem to play well and doesn't know what's wrong with him. His mom tells him to stay positive and stay away from dairy, which always makes him sick. He gets to practice and overhears the rest of the team making fun of him. Dreading another night on the ice, he drinks an entire jug of milk and makes himself throw up in the change room, ensuring he can get out of practice. He tells his team that he has the flu, but heads straight for Little Miss Steaks instead of home. He tells Maya
Campbells cut

Cam's cut after he threw the ice skate.

that practice was cancelled and Maya is excited to have a singing partner. He is terrified, but Maya gets him to open up and the two have a great time. Unfortunately, someone videotapes their performance and the Ice Hounds see it. The coach skated the team hard for a hour and now they are going to make sure that he gets the same punishment. The team watch as Campbell practically skates himself to death. When they finally decide he's had enough, Dallas stops him and he collapses on the ice. In the change room he is seen sweating, extremely tired when Dallas talks to him and tosses him a Gatorade bottle to hydrate. When Dallas leaves, Cam has another breakdown, tossing his equipment to notice a large cut on his hand. It's like Cam doesn't know what he does until he calms down. After he notices he covers it with a towel to stop the bleeding. This scene foreshadows his suicide.


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A picture of Cam's family

In Rusty Cage (2), Cam is seen with Maya in the Media Room, examining his plays from the last game. He then comes to a conclusion, that he should play right wing instead of left. Maya thinks this is a good idea. Cam knows that the coach might not approve because he's a rookie. So Cam thinks of asking Dallas, who's yelling at Luke and the twins for dangling off the balcony. When Cam approaches Dallas, Dallas says he'll see and walks away. At the game that night, before Cam hits the right wing, Luke threatens him, saying that if Cam makes them lose then he'll make his life hell. Cam notices Maya and Tristan, and starts to smile. The game begins, and Cam is going strong. By the end, the game is tied 2 to 2. Cam makes a goal, making the score 3 to 2 and winning the game. In the locker room, Dallas and Cam are about to leave when Dallas surprises Cam with the press, obviously knowing he has stage fright and invited them anyway. Cam doesn't speak, and Dallas, grinning, goes outside to speak to the press. Cam has a panic attack, obviously knowing Dallas' plan. He grabs his skate, and almost cut himself before setting it down. The next day he skipped school and staying home, making Maya worried. She kept texting him, at first joking with him about skipping, then getting to the point when she's asking if there's anything wrong then he would tell her. Cam is sitting on his bed reading his texts. He's looking at Maya's, then goes to look at the picture his mom sent him, with her, his sister, and little brother in Ice Hounds jerseys. He then grows sadder and starts packing his bag, wanting to go home. Before he finished, Maya dropped by after school, who is checking on him and dropping off his homework. She asks him why he's ditching, and he admits that the team hates him, and he just wants to be happy. She says he should take a break from hockey, and try other things. She kisses his cheek, Cam smiles, and she asks him if she'll see him at school
Cam

Cam after jumping off the second floor railing.

tomorrow. That next day, Cam is seen dangling on the railing, where Luke and the twins were the day before. He waits for someone to pass by, and jumps off, hitting the ground. He is seen by Ms. Oh, who calls the hospital. He is seen leaving the hospital with Dallas, with a broken arm. Maya arrives, and Dallas tells her that Cam is going to be out of hockey for a six to eight weeks. Dallas leaves Cam and Maya, and she confronts him, asking if he did it on purpose. He tells her he's not one of those people who hurts themselves, and tells her that she makes him happy, and they kiss.  

The Suicide of Campbell Saunders

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With a rough start at Degrassi Cam wanted this semester to be different but Cam was hesitant about coming back to Degrassi after an amazing week at home. After Spirit Week starts, Cam and Maya find that they're on separate teams and that Zig is on a team with Maya which makes Cam jealous. At the first event (floor hockey), Cam elbows Zig in the eye and pushes him over, asking for a fight. Dallas and Maya try to stop Cam from attacking Zig more, and all four of them are sent to the principal's office. Maya tells the truth about the fight, and how it was no accident. Cam is suspended for the rest of the week and Maya leaves the room without saying a word to him. Cam has a breakdown and finds Alli saw it all. Alli gives Cam advice about how to win Maya back. Maya is shown at home practicing her cello and Cam comes in with a huge bouquet of pink flowers. Maya thanks him and just as Cam is about to leave, Maya says that he could stay. They are shown cuddling on the couch while watching videos on Maya's phone. Maya shows Cam a stuffed animal from her night camp named Hoot. Katie then comes in and tells
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Cam that it's time to leave and just as he's about to, Maya convinces Katie to let him stay over for a sleepover after Cam said he didn't want to go home.  

The next morning, Cam is gone and Maya watches a video Cam sent her that says that she will have to meet him at the stairs at lunch because he stole her stuffed animal, Hoot and she must retrieve him. She smiles and the scene ends. In the next scene, Cam is seen sitting on the stairs as Zig confronts him about hitting him. Zig says that Maya won't stay forgiving him for long, as she'll see what he really is - a psycho. Cam begins crying, upset about Zig's words. The next scene shows Maya looking for Cam at the stairs. She then gets a text from him saying that he can't make it, and they're over and he commit suicide in the Degrassi's greenhouse that night.

Dead Campbell found

Eli discovers Campbell's body.

Eli and Clare come upon Cam's body in the school's greenhouse where he lays dead. All students are affected in a different way from Cam's suicide. Whether its grief, depression, guilt, denial, sympathy, wondering, comedy, helpfulness, curiosity, relateable, numbness, or any other way to cope with the tragedy. The student council plans a candlelight vigil for him, which Maya is told to speak at. While she is writing her speech for the vigil, she is reminiscing about Cam as she re-watches the video he sent her after leaving early after their sleepover. where Maya speaks and calls him out in front of the entire school.

Trivia

  • Campbell appeared in 17 episodes.
    • The number of episodes is up for debate. Although Bitter Sweet Symphony (2) was technically the 18th and final episode including Dylan Everett, it is unknown since it only showed Campbell's body and he was seen on video and pictures.
  • Campbell was one of six regular characters that didn't say anything in their first appearances. The other five were Spike, Marco, Anya, Riley, and Luke.
  • His twitter
  • He was a fan of the show "Lost."
  • He was the youngest player on the Toronto Ice Hounds. This fits with reality - the general minimum age to play Major Junior hockey in Canada is 16, but younger players are occasionally granted "exceptional player" status and can play at that level at a younger age.
  • He was in grade 10, but took Grade 9 French, due to missing out on French credits for hockey training during his grade 9 year.
  • He had more "ice time" than Owen, which means that he was a more valuable player.
  • He was lactose intolerant.
  • He wore clover-patterned boxers for good luck on game days.
  • He was Ice Hound number 67.
  • He came from Kapuskasing, Ontario, 12 hours' drive north of Toronto.
  • Cam was one of four characters to self-harm, the other three being Ellie, Darcy, and Adam. He is the first biological male to self-harm in the entire franchise.
  • He had an older brother named Justin. He also has an older sister, and a younger sister and brother.
  • Campbell was one of five heterosexual characters to be crushed on by a homosexual character. The other four being Griffin (By Marco), Peter (By Riley), Holly J (by Fiona) and Adam (by Tristan).
  • He lived with the Clarksons as mentioned by his mom in Rusty Cage (1).
  • He was the second regular to die in the franchise, the first being J.T. Yorke.
  • He was the sixth character to die overall, the others being Claude Tanner, Albert Manning, Rick Murray, J.T. Yorke and Anson.
  • He was the second character in Degrassi history to commit suicide, the first was Claude Tanner.
  • He was the youngest character to die on the show.
  • Cam was planned to commit suicide when the character was originally conceived by the writers. However, there was some resistance to following through with this idea when Cam became a hit with audiences.
  • Although Campbell's method of suicide is never stated, it's most likely he cut his wrists. This is foreshadowed by Campbell's reaction to cutting himself with his ice skate in Rusty Cage (1) and shown by the angle Eli was observing when he discovered Campbell, implying his body was not hanging but rather on the ground. Further implication of death by exsanguination is evidenced by Eli's psychological trauma (more specifically his reaction to a spilled bucket of red paint, as seen here). It is also likely that the item used was the skate he cut himself with earlier, as it was foreshadowed and it would cut deep enough.
  • Campbell spent the shortest time as a regular (one season) along with Kelly Ashoona and Damian Hayes (also one season), followed by Alex Nuñez, Mia Jones, Derek Haig, Johnny DiMarco, Bruce the Moose, Blue Chessex, Darcy Edwards, Declan Coyne, Zane Park, and Wesley Betenkamp (two seasons).
  • Campbell is currently the only main character who overall only appears in one season.

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