THE INTERVENTIONISTS follows the days and nights of a unique crisis team working their cases in downtown Toronto. Ellen is a mental health nurse. Brandon is a specially trained police officer. Together, they ride the streets of the inner city in an unmarked police vehicle, responding to 911 police calls involving "Emotionally Disturbed Persons." One of the first of its kind, the team is a special partnership between St. Michael's Hospital and Police Divisions 51 and 52, in South East/Central Toronto. Their mandate is to decriminalize mental health issues. Together the team de-escalate crises to avoid unnecessary arrests and emergency room visits by providing appropriate referrals, services and resources within a patients' own community.
With unprecedented access, THE INTERVENTIONISTS follows the team from case to case. The calls are hastily labelled at 911 dispatch as "threatened suicides," "bizarre behaviour," "person gone berserk" or simply "EDP": Emotionally Disturbed Person. Once they arrive on scene, however, with time, patience and expertise, the team peels away at the labels, to get at the underlying causes for the crisis, revealing the complex and often tragic situations faced by people living with mental illness.