Helping hand Singer Janet Devlin says teens battling addiction have been contacting her for help
Online pop sensation Janet Devlin has seen a sudden increase in young people struggling with lockdown addictions contacting her for help.
The Tyrone native – who thrilled X Factor audiences on her journey to the final five of the programme in 2011 – is only too aware of the perils of fame.
At 16, Devlin was catapulted into the big time, performing to almost 20 million viewers in what was the biggest television show of the time.
Just four years later, she was in the throes of alcohol addiction and even attempted suicide on a number of occasions.
Now 25, Janet has turned a corner in her life, performing online shows during lockdown, releasing an EP, and counselling young people who are also battling alcohol issues.
And she told the Sunday World that she has seen an increase in cries for help from young Irish people struggling in the pandemic.
“I have had more people contact me recently with what is going on in the world,” she said.
“Definitely, there are a lot of young people coming into my DMs.
“I feel like with lockdown, it has accelerated some people finding people finding out that they are an alcoholic.
“With lockdown people have been thrust into their own company and realise that they do have a problem.
“It is so sad but it is a reminder that just because I am not in my active addictions, it doesn't mean that other people aren’t going through it.
“And it has also reminded me that I am an arm's reach away from going through that pain.
“Through lockdown I have watched people make the first step and then start to get better.
“I just feel that people aren't used to spending so much time in their own company and it is a big problem.”
Janet is now a member of Alcoholics Anonymous where she tries to use her platform to help other young people who may be battling addiction.
Her recent album Confessional is a melodic, no holds barred, expression of her journey from rock bottom to sobriety, full of raw emotion and honesty.
And in the midst of lockdown she has just released an EP, aptly called Versions Of Better, which contains six versions of the track Better Now taken from her recent album.
And to be perfectly honest, while the majority of the music industry is on its knees, Janet Devlin, is well, flying.
She sells out two online shows a month through the online platform Stageit, which has given her a dedicated income online.
“Isolation has been my lifestyle and nothing has changed for me,” she said.
“My life has been built around the internet and I have been doing online gigs for six years.
“I do two shows once a month and it has been that was for six years.
“I definitely got very lucky in the sense that my job is on the internet.
“That used to be a bit of a curse because nobody would take you seriously and would think you were a bit of a joke.
“I have put up with that for years but now, it is quite amusing to see other artists now follow suit.
“And it is nice, I suppose that people are now starting to take online shows seriously.
“It is never going to be the same as a live show; it is just something different, where you can enjoy live music from the comfort of your own home.
“What I have done is to try and create multiple sources of revenue, and while they are not massive, they have kept me afloat in the music business.”
Janet's next Stage It show is on Thursday October 29th and tickets are available on through the app and here.