Now it is true that my client population is dealing with mental heath concerns, this can definitely affect memory and sense of time. However, everyone who gets into my program has to be fairly stable. We're not usually working with people who are actively psychotic (although of course it happens every now and again). So this could be one reason.
Now the other reason that my coworkers and I have discussed is that we are a free center and there is no consequence for missed appointments. If a client misses an appointment, nothing bad happens. We reschedule. That's it. It's not something they're paying for, and maybe that gives it less value? Perhaps because there are no consequences when something else comes up or they don't feel like coming in, they don't.
My program still uses the Psychosocial Recovery Model (PSR Model) which, although old, has some value. There is a huge emphasis on client responsibility and client decision making and empowerment (which are great) but it also means that we don't chase after our clients as a general rule. We don't require them to come to appointments, it's their choice.
I think what frustrates me, is that I put aside time in my day for a client, that I could give to another client or use for my never ending pile of documentation. Instead, I'm left wondering whether they'll come in or not. For many clients, I do prep work and it's frustrating when they're a no show. It also bugs me on a personal level (as opposed to professional) that I managed to show up for all my therapy session when I was in therapy, why can't they, but that's not something that's all that relevant really.
So that's my rant for the day. I'm SICK of it. But, life will go on, mine, and theirs.