Location: Oakland, CA
Founding: November 2019
Founders/leadership: Priya Iyer, founder


Birthing people of color are twice as likely to experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) compared to White women. One reason this problem persists is that the Western mental health model in the United States was not designed by and with BIPOC communities. Exacerbated by income, untreated PMADs cost $14 billion annually; and they affect not only the birthing parent but are passed down across three generations. 

Roots mission is to prevent postpartum mood disorders for BIPOC, low income birthing people, and build a legacy of generational mental wellness. Roots believe every birthing person, starting with BIPOC, low income communities in America, should have access to culturally reverent peer education and support around mental wellness during pregnancy and postpartum.

Roots’ mission is driven by domestic birth inequity, and a critical component of this is perinatal mental health. Roots use a text based adaptation of the Mothers and Babies curriculum. The tools and skills taught in this curriculum could prevent up to 50 percent of the episodes related to postpartum depression. 

The goal is to work with 120 BIPOC, low income birthing people in the next nine months by hiring and training three BIPOC peer support specialists and partnering with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), for their initial pilot starting in April 2022.