I have been keeping a journal for a few years now, and it didnt dawn on me until recently that my experiences I have had writen in this journal could help a lot of other people. I already planned on changing people's names and a few details of some events that have occured. As well as use a pen name for publishing. I am just not sure what else I should do to protect my identity and the identities of those in the book. I also dont want to be sued but I really want to get this out there to help people. Can anyone give me some advice?
As far as being sued, I wouldn't worry about it. Start the book with a disclaimer about some things being changed and about events being written with your best recollection, and you should be fine.
As far as protecting the identities of others, changing the names is about all you can do. The good news is that, for the most part, most readers won't particularly concern themselves with the identities of the folks in your stories. The people you write about will probably recognize themselves, but trying to hide someone's identity from themselves is a lost cause.
It can be a tricky thing to tell stories of/with others, but if you're honoring the story by telling it well and telling the truth, it's my personal take that you're doing the right thing. One purpose of a writer is to pass on and disseminate stories that might help other people.