WE’VE REFRESHED OUR ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING HOTSPOTS SEE THE 2017 RANKINGS HERE In Onvia’s latest study, 10 Hotspots in Government Contracting for 2016, our market analysis team discovered that contracts for mental health services in the state, local and education (SLED) government market grew 30% in 2015 over 2014. Out of nearly 500 unique industry categories analyzed for the report, growth in bids & RFPs for mental health services represents the #1 ranked area for growth in the SLED government contracting market. Top Influencers for More Mental Health Initiatives In recent years, the nation has been dealing with difficult issues around mental health, such as increased gun violence and perception that greater access to mental health treatment could have prevented some of those tragic incidents. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The need is widely viewed as great: Nearly one in five Americans has a diagnosable mental illness… but most get no treatment.” Additionally, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act increased the pool of patients who quality for mental health treatment services. 30% growth in the number of mental health bids & RFPs is significant and helps to demonstrate the effect of the Obama Administration’s focus on increasing access to mental health treatment: The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable. The President and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental healthVice President Joe Biden In response, $215 million in funding was set aside to fund initiatives to address gun violence, youth mental health and to assist community health centers -- and government contractors interested in this business should take note. Which Agencies Issue the Most Mental Health Contracts? Onvia’s analysis shows that healthcare contractors pursuing SLED government contracts related to mental health services are mostly likely to find the largest share of opportunities at the state level of government. State agencies account for a 42% share of the bids & RFPs analyzed for the report. Firms pursuing this business shouldn’t ignore county level opportunities though, which represent a 33% share of the contracts. Businesses can further narrow their pursuits by focusing their efforts on the top 5 states for issuing mental health contracts highlighted in the heatmap below: How to Get Ahead of the Competition and Win More Mental Health Contracts With the average awarded value of SLED mental health contracts averaging out at a healthy $2.1 million, contractors have the opportunity to secure long-term government clients by embedding their services in large agency mental health efforts for years to come. Onvia recommends that contractors who pursue these contracts track agencies who are discussing upcoming mental health spending well before the issuance of a competitive bid or RFP. Those firms who track early mentions of future spending related to mental health services in agency budgets and spending plans can greatly increase their chances of winning a larger share of the contracts. Mental Health Isn’t the Only Growing Area in Government Contracting Watch the video below to learn about 9 other contracting hotspots that have seen notable growth rates in bids & RFPs over the last two years: