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But NYSPI did not bring Du Brul aboard for clinical expertise.

He built a shrine to his youth, and then snuck out of the apartment. At 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue, he descended the stairs to the subway station, hopped over the turnstile, and raced to the platform. “I just had this sense that there was nothing I could do wrong,” he remembers.

It was “a very liberating feeling.” With his arms extended in crucifix, Du Brul began walking the tracks as if they were two tightropes stretching toward another world — because this one, he was certain, was about to end.

In announcing that New York’s Office of Mental Health would fund the program to the tune of about $7 million, legislators and public officials spoke of its promise.

“Early intervention can save lives,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, “and with this funding we’re going to be able to reach more young adults battling mental illness and put them on the path toward comprehensive treatment.” Many believe this type of innovative approach to mental healthcare can be a blueprint for hospitals and clinics across the country.

He took sonic refuge in punk music’s frenetic instrumentation and in-your-face melodies.

And as he began to experiment with writing his own songs, Du Brul found his voice in culturally subversive lyrics.

He re-posted a photo that captured him, bass guitar in-hand, shouting into a microphone at the edge of the stage.

He added his own caption: “No one at the office has any idea.” Then, he closed his laptop, and with fifteen minutes to spare, left his apartment and headed to work at Columbia University’s Medical Center.

Du Brul spent his would-be college years crisscrossing Manhattan’s Lower East Side, living as a punk squatter in cooperative housing.

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