52 episodes

The Hingham ‘Cast is a hyper local, weekly podcast that looks at the pandemic through the lens of one small town: Hingham, Massachusetts. Hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Ally Donnelly, The Hingham 'Cast explores how to build better communities through meaningful conversations. We talk about our health, our kids, our schools, our money, our jobs, our relationships, joys and struggles. Even as the pandemic keeps us apart, there is a real opportunity to come together. Through intimacy and empathy, we get to know our neighbors and what drives them. Nothing is off the table. We'll explore everything from race, religion, sexuality and politics, to eating, drinking, binging and how to leave that puppy you swore you'd never get. Join us!

The Hingham 'Cast Ally Donnelly

    • News

The Hingham ‘Cast is a hyper local, weekly podcast that looks at the pandemic through the lens of one small town: Hingham, Massachusetts. Hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Ally Donnelly, The Hingham 'Cast explores how to build better communities through meaningful conversations. We talk about our health, our kids, our schools, our money, our jobs, our relationships, joys and struggles. Even as the pandemic keeps us apart, there is a real opportunity to come together. Through intimacy and empathy, we get to know our neighbors and what drives them. Nothing is off the table. We'll explore everything from race, religion, sexuality and politics, to eating, drinking, binging and how to leave that puppy you swore you'd never get. Join us!

    Will We Override?

    Will We Override?

    Residents are being asked whether or not we should override Prop 2 and half with a 7.9 million dollar override and permanently raise our property taxes so that we can maintain current services and fund different investments and needs. 
    Without an override, we’d be about six million dollars short. We would have to cut services and lay off 19 municipal employees and 46 positions in our schools. Both the Select Board and the Advisory Committee were unanimous in voting in favor of passing the override. Why?
    My guests are Select Board Chair Bill Ramsey, School Committee Chair Michelle Ayer  and George Danis, Chair of Hingham’s Advisory Committee.

    • 26 min
    You Are Not Alone

    You Are Not Alone

    I wish I didn't feel so woefully inadequate in finding words to describe where we are. Maybe there are no words. Maybe I have no idea.
    What I do know is that people are in pain. People need help and we all need each other. 
    In this week's episode I talk with three women trying to help our community. Susan Sarni, Hingham's executive health officer is helping lead an effort to deliver a kind of one-stop shop for health and wellness through town resources. It's a work in progress, and they want to hear from us on what we think could help our community, but they are amplifying services for mental health, physical and spiritual health and addiction. Heather Rodriguez, director of counseling for Hingham Public Schools shares what counselors are seeing with our students and what is currently and will soon be available to help them. 
    Kathleen Bambrick is a social worker with Aspire Health Alliance. We talk about the importance of normalizing the conversation around mental health (whole person health!) and what resources they are offering to help local families immediately.
    I hope you find value in the conversation and will lend your voice to the process. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the crisis lifeline at 988. You are not alone and people want to help you.

    • 34 min
    On a mission to end 'period poverty.'

    On a mission to end 'period poverty.'

    When Kenzie Blackwell heard some public school students were using socks, dish towels and cardboard to serve as pads during their period, she knew the work she had to do. The Hingham woman launched Free . (period), a non-profit that provides free tampons and pads in public schools and to local service providers like Father Bill's and Interfaith Social Services.
    Kenzie and Ann Linehan, a Brockton Public School nurse and consultant for the state Department of Public Health sit down with Ally to share their story and their mission, which is not yet done.

    • 22 min
    When Crisis Hits, Call This Woman

    When Crisis Hits, Call This Woman

    If your child is threatening suicide, if someone in your family is abusing drugs, if you're struggling with a mental health crisis, Aileen Walsh can help. She's Hingham's new community crisis response clinician. She's embedded in the Hingham Police Department and brought to calls where a social worker might offer a different or added resource than a police officer.
    She counseled terrified residents when a man barricaded himself in his apartment and fired at police officers in the Hingham Shipyard in 2020. She's gotten immediate help for teens threatening to hurt themselves or family members. She's kept drug abusers out of jail cells and gotten them into treatment just when it seemed all hope was lost. For families who don't want to call police for fear their crisis will end up in the police blotter, Walsh can help privately, without public records being kept.
    #mentalhealth #suicideprevention #diversion #communitypolicing

    • 21 min
    Back-to-School Mental Health Tips

    Back-to-School Mental Health Tips

    Ally Donnelly  
    Hi and welcome to the Hingham ‘Cast. I'm your host Ally Donnelly. This episode is brought to you by Derby Street Shops. 
    The Hingham ‘Cast is hyper local, we look at the world through the lens of one small town. My town here on Boston’s, South Shore, but the issues we explore are unfolding in communities across the country. Like Back to School. It’s an exciting time of hope and promise, but for some kids it can also be a time riddled with anxiety.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 5 kids aged 6 to 17 experience a mental disorder in a given year. Some experts, including our guest today, say it may now be as high as one in four.  With an estimated $247 billion dollars spent each year to manage and treat those issues.
    As we start another school year in a pandemic that just won't quit. I wanted to learn what we can do as families, as a community to meet kids where they’re at and help as best we can.
    My guest today is Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins. She's a child psychiatrist and Associate Director for the Clay Center for Young and Healthy minds at Mass General Hospital. She specializes in anxiety disorders, ADHD, and overall student mental health and suicide prevention. Dr. Booth Watkins, thank you so much for joining us.
    Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins/MGH Clay Center 
    Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk with you today about our kids and what's going on with them. 
    Ally Donnelly 
    Yeah, so much. Right? Give us a sense of the state of child mental health right now.
    Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins/MGH Clay Center 
    Our kids are facing a mental health crisis, there has been alarms rang by the Academy of Pediatrics and of child and adolescent psychiatrists and children's hospitals. And then shortly thereafter, the Surgeon General also put out this morning saying that we're in the middle of a mental health crisis for our for our children and adolescents. They are really struggling with we're seeing an increase in depression and anxiety, suicidal thinking, loneliness. And the even scarier part is that much of this started well before the COVID-19 global pandemic.
    Ally Donnelly  
    Yeah, yeah. You know, there's data all over the place, right. But one, data point from the CDC said 44% of high school students said they experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness with girls and the LGBTQ plus community reporting the highest levels of poor mental health and suicide attempts. You know, as kids think about going back to school on top of what they've already experienced, you know, from the pandemic, from pre pandemic, think about bullying, peer pressure, school violence, fears, relationship building anxiety, you know, what's going on for kids as they think about heading back.
    Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins/MGH Clay Center  
    So they are, they probably have a lot of thoughts going on. And many kids are excited to go back and they're looking forward to going back and then their kids who are dreading going back their kids who actually never liked school. So there are some kids who are more vulnerable. They they struggled with attending school for various reasons, whether it's learning issues, whether it's anxiety, whether it's social, social challenges, but they're worried about, you know, how they're going to perform, are they going to be accepted? Are people going to like them? Are they going to be able to make friends depending on whether your kid is going from a major transition from elementary to middle or middle to high school or even from high school to college, really just finding their place and and making sure that they feel secure and welcomed. They're worried about those things. And they're still many kids still worried about being healthy and staying...

    • 28 min
    What is Safe Anymore?

    What is Safe Anymore?

    A conversation on school safety with Hingham Public Schools Superintendent Gary Maestas.

    • 41 min

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