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Suffering behind the smile: Final picture of Cameron, 27, just days before he took his own life

Cameron Boyle, 27.
Cameron Boyle, 27.

This is one of the last photographs taken of former Fraserburgh lifeguard, Cameron Boyle.

Captured just days before he took his own life, it shows a moment of genuine happiness at the wedding of his sister, amidst the 27-year-old’s worsening mental health struggle.

And it epitomises a message his family now want to share.

“Some people still don’t get it. Cameron was once told, ‘you know, men shouldn’t be having mental health breakdowns.’

“There was even some suggestion that panic attacks are more for girls with hormonal issues. And that suicide attempts are just attention seeking.

“Well no actually, that’s just ignorance. More understanding is needed,” said Lindsay Bain, Cameron’s sister.

“Behind his smile that day was someone who did everything he could to get better. Someone who took all the help offered. And still, he’s no longer with us.”

Carefree childhood

Cameron was born on April 19, 1995. The only son of retired solicitor, John and Lorna Boyle, a district nurse, he had two older sisters, Lindsay and Sarah.

Raised in New Leeds, he attended Kininmonth Primary School then Mintlaw Academy where he was a quiet child who loved animals and helping people.

A young Cameron Boyle shown feeding a lamb.
Cameron always loved to be with animals.

He did a paper round and odd jobs for people around the village and when he left school enrolled on sports and leisure, and uniformed services courses at Fraserburgh College.

His parents paid tribute to him in his eulogy.

They wrote: “For 25 years Cameron enjoyed a happy, carefree life. He enjoyed holidays, the outdoors, socialising with friends…

“But when the pandemic struck in 2020 signs of loneliness and anxiety crept in.”

Covid changes

Cameron, who did voluntary work and was previously employed as a caddy at Trump International Golf Resort, had been a lifeguard at a council-run pool in Fraserburgh as social distancing requirements came into place.

Cameron Boyle pictured as a child, holding a chicken.
A young Cameron shown before his mental health challenges were apparent.

However, like it did for many people, the pandemic brought with it a sense of isolation.

Mental health crisis

However, what Cameron was experiencing was greater than just dismay at a changes to his working life.

By Christmas 2020 he began speaking of his loneliness and became withdrawn.

Although his mood seemed to pick up at the start of 2021 by late summer he deteriorated significantly.

Cameron Boyle pictured with his chocolate labrador Phoebe.
Cameron Boyle with his dog Phoebe.

“He wanted to get better so badly. We’d often say he didn’t have the patience to let his medication or his therapies work. I think in the end he just gave up.”


Cameron died on June 16, just six days after Lindsay’s wedding.

Lorna and John had reported him missing then police broke the devastating news that he had been found. The family then sent word to Lindsay and James on honeymoon.

“The last message James and I sent Cameron was a reply to him saying ‘have a good time on honeymoon.’ When he didn’t even open the text we had a feeling he wasn’t so good again.

The Boyle family
The Boyle family: John and Lorna Boyle with son-in-law James Bain, daughter Lindsay, son Cameron and daughter Sarah. Cameron’s nephew Beau is pictured front.

“The wedding was just amazing, everyone said it… he was genuinely happy and having a good time. We’re all really thankful for that time together.

“But when we got the knock at the door in the hotel we just knew. It was a shock but not a complete surprise,” said Lindsay.

Important message

A celebration of Cameron’s life took place at Almanythie Hall, Peterhead.

His parents spoke emotionally and poignantly about Cameron’s illness.

“Sometimes the pain of constant depression is simply a worse fate for the person suffering than the permanency of death, or the hurt left behind.

Cameron Boyle and his family
Cameron Boyle, second from left, with brother-in-law James, sister Lindsay and his parents John and Lorna.

“We wanted to deliver an important message in not hiding Cameron’s struggles.

“This is a cause that needs a voice as we saw first hand the suffering he endured and it saddens us to know so much ignorance still exists.

“More needs to be done. Anxiety and depression is such a cruel illness and when it results in loss of life it is a tragedy.”

Invisible health issues matter too

Now Cameron’s family hope that by speaking up the lives of others in similar situations may be spared.

James added: “I lost my step-brother in the same way. We’ve now lost Cameron, and we were told there’s multiple cases like this a week in the north east of Scotland.

“We hear a lot about first aid, and you even get courses at work. But there’s still not enough about things that aren’t so visible. Mental health crises aren’t just about feeling low, it’s often a desperate situation.

“Unhelpful comments just make things worse. Our message is read more, find out more, point people to where the help is. Ask if someone needs support, and don’t give up.”

  • For a non-judgemental, confidential conversation, call the Samaritans free on 116 123 or email
  • The Samaritans also have an app which you can download to your phone, providing self-help tips. Find out more on the Samaritans website.
  • You can also visit Scotland’s mental health charity here.