January 26, 2024

Postpartum Depression Led This Founder To Create An Affirmations App For The Black Community

Postpartum difficulties and a gap in the wellness industry led LaDonna Welch to create a mental health app, Ebony Notes, designed to affirm the Black community.

Meet LaDonna Welch

Welch advocates for diversity, equity, representation, personal growth, and inclusion.

After giving birth to her second child in 2012, she learned she had postpartum and seasonal depression when she went to a doctor to discuss her symptoms.

“They suggested that I speak to someone, and I was in my 30s. At this point, I had never even considered talking to anyone,” Welch told AfroTech.

“That made me think back to just my upbringing. My mom never talked about therapy or going to a therapist. The adults around me never talked about it. So, I started talking to other people, and I feel like we had a common experience.”

After moving to Colorada in 2015, she sought a Black therapist. However, she could not locate any nearby.

After finding one outside her area, Welch started using affirmation apps, creating T-shirts, and journalling, but realized the products needed to reflect her culture and background weren’t available.

“Since I didn’t see anything else like that, I saw how powerful it is for that positive self-talk and how this can be a stepping stone to do something that was a low barrier point to help get people in the door to start that conversation and maybe start seeking help,” she said.

This led to Welch building Ebony Notes in April 2022.

Ebony Notes

Creating Ebony Notes

Welch created Ebony Notes with an investment of less than $6,000 using her savings.

With a small tech background of teaching coding and robotics to kids, Welch knew that the first thing she created was a minimal viable product.

She then participated in the Access Mode MVP Lab Accelerator program in Denver, CO, held April-July 2023 to advance her app.

This led to her receiving a $20,000 grant through the city of Denver in partnership with Access Mode.

As a result, she assembled a development team that enhanced the app’s design, incorporated pop-up images and audio, and added a directory to help users discover reliable service providers.

Ebony Notes

Ebony Notes is now a mobile app designed specifically for the Black community, by the Black community.

The app is a resource to help bridge the gap between the Black community and the mental health system.

Ebony Notes users can expect the app’s landing page to welcome them with affirmations. 

From there, they can choose different categories that help them target which types of affirmations they wish to receive.

Additionally, they can tap into mini podcasts that offer sessions on financial wellness and self-love.

Welch has future plans to expand the app’s directory to include therapists, counselors, fitness studios, and yoga classes.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.